The City Where Dreams Come True

READ THE WORLD – Tajikistan: The City Where Dreams Come True by Gulsifat Shakhidi

A collection of four short stories from the perspective of three generations provides insight into the impact which Tajikistan’s terrible civil war had on its people and its culture during the early ’90s.

Each of the four stories is from a different family members point of view. This is something I didn’t realise before starting the book and instead picked up as I read it and noticed different characters cropping up or that some events were now being shown from a different perspective. The first is Ali who rescued his teacher’s daughter Nekbaht during the violence and the two of them found their way to his uncle. Then Horosho who is revealed to be Nekbaht’s grandfather and one of her only living relatives. There’s a story from Nekbaht’s perspective which picks up after Ali’s story does so you see how both of their lives turned out. The final story is focused on Shernazar who is Ali’s youngest cousin.

I found the way the stories intertwined and fleshed out the characters or events we’d seen in previous stories really well done and interesting. On their own each story is heartfelt and has themes of loss, injustice and hope, but when read back-to-back these themes are even more prominent and it makes each story more compelling and thoughtful.

I had barely even heard of Tajikistan as a country, never mind the civil war and turmoil its people have faced and I think that The City Where Dreams Come True shows the culture and how the people’s lives were affected by the conflict really well. Ali’s life sounds especially normal and almost idyllic before tragedy strikes. All the characters have their own issues but one thing that they have in common is their strong work ethic. Ali, Nekbaht and Shernazar learn that for them to succeed in life and in order for them to have a chance of a better life, for themselves and their families, they need to get a good education as that’s one of the only things that can lead to opportunities.

The City Where Dreams Come True is a very short collection of short stories, the kind that can easily be read in one sitting. That doesn’t make them any less impactful though and the language used, incorporating Russian, Uzbek and Tajik words for objects or in dialogue helps make these stories feel more real. 4/5.

WWW Wednesday – 22 December 2021

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words. It’s a simple meme where you just have to answer three questions:
– What are you currently reading?
– What did you recently finish reading?
– What do you think you’ll read next?

I think it’s a great way to share my recent reads as I don’t review everything I read and often the reviews I do post are behind what I’m actually reading.

What I’m currently reading
The Purple Violet of Oshaantu by Neshani Andreas
I’m very nearly finished this and I’ll probably finish it tomorrow. It’s a story about a woman who is abused and the women in her life that help her.

 

 

What I recently finished reading
Cadence of the Moon by Oscar Núñez Olivas
I finally finished this book! It’s one I started months ago but I finally put the time in and read it. It’s a crime story that while I thought it had some interesting moments, I didn’t really like the writing style.

 

 

What I think I’ll read next
The City Where Dreams Come True by Gulsifat Shahidi
I’d like to read at least one more book before the end of the year and I think a collection of four short stories might be the way to do it. They’re about Tajikistan’s civil war and the effect it had on the people. This is another book for my Read the World Project.

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Autumn 2021 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is what books we’d like to read over the next few months. I love setting a vague TBR and then seeing whether or not I actually get to them any time soon.

The City Where Dreams Come True by Gulsifat Shahidi
A collection of four short stories about Tajikistan’s civil war and the effect it had on the people. I have The City Where Dreams Come True and The Cost of Sugar on Kindle Unlimited and as I don’t really use that service much it’d be good to read them soon as then I can unsubscribe from it.

The Cost of Sugar by Cynthia McLeod
The Cost of Sugar has definitely been on more than one TBR but maybe now is the time to finally read it? It follows two Jewish stepsisters, Elza and Sarith, descendants of the settlers and their pampered existences become intertwined with the fate of the plantations as the slaves decide to fight against the violent repression they have endured for too long.

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo
I read and really enjoyed King of Scars earlier this month so Rule of Wolves is definitely one I want to get to ASAP. I have the audiobook but might get the ebook too as I’m not sure which way I want to read it.

The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid
I got The Wolf and the Woodsman via Illumicrate a few months ago and the cover is one that really stood out to me. Like many books on my TBR I don’t know much about it but I think it’s got a creepy forest and a fairy tale vibe – both are things I tend to enjoy.

Armenian Golgotha by Grigoris Balakian
This is a bit of an intimidating book as it’s a chunky non-fiction about a country’s genocide and it probably will be a book I need to take time with as it’s such a heavy topic.

The Scents of Marie-Claire by Habib Selmi
My Tunisia book for the Read the World Project, The Scents of Marie-Claire tells the story of the extraordinary relationship between the Tunisian-born narrator and the French Marie-Claire

A Spare Life by Lidija Dimkovska
A Spare Life has been on one of my seasonal TBR’s before and I did start it but didn’t get too far into it so would actually like to finish it.

Terciel and Elinor by Garth Nix
I love the Old Kingdom series so am really looking forward to the latest instalment and am interested to see what this prequel adds to the story. I reread Sabriel last month for the first time since 2015 and will be continuing rereading the series until Terciel and Elinor is released in November.

The Desert and the Drum by Mbarek Ould Beyrouk
The Desert and the Drum is the first novel ever to be translated into English from Mauritania and is about a woman who leaves her tribe and tries to find her own path.

Chaka by Thomas Mofolo
Chaka is a mythic fictional retelling of the story of the rise and fall of the Zulu emperor-king Shaka.

What books are you hoping to read soon?