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WINNER OF THREE INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS ~ Book Club Favorite “For fans of Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. Five stars.” — San Francisco Book Review “A must-read for anyone interested in the Middle East. Five stars.” — Manhattan Book Review “Lightbourne writes in a cinematic prose and easily folds in background about the Kurdish people’s suffering under Saddam Hussein. This story of sisterhood, motherhood, and nationhood should have wide appeal.” — BookLife Inspired by the incredible true story of an American teacher in northern Iraq, The Kurdish Bike is a gripping, compassionate and often wry tale of adventure set in one of the world’s least understood cultures. It is 2010, and Theresa Turner responds to an online ad for “courageous teachers to help rebuild a war-torn country.” Landing in a repressive school for Kurd elites, she yearns to experience the “real” Kurdistan, buys a bicycle, and explores the nearby villages and countryside. When she is befriended by a local widow, Theresa is embroiled in the joys and agonies of traditional Kurds, especially the women who survived Saddam’s genocide only to be crippled by age-old restrictions, female genital mutilation (FGM), brutality and honor killings. She experiences a female bonding that transcends cultures, and a generosity that staggers the imagination. Theresa’s greatest challenge will be balancing respect for local values while trying to introduce more enlightened attitudes toward women — at the same time seeking new spiritual dimensions within herself. The Kurdish Bike is a novel of love, betrayal and redemption. Well-developed characters face life-and-death decisions, and are not always who they seem. Unexpected changes back home have devastating impacts on the expatriates. And it is impossible to determine who is a genuine ally in such a foreign setting. Add to this the main character’s desire for inner transformation, and you have a must-read page turner that haunts the reader for months. It is the winner of the Gold Medal for Best Regional eBook from Independent Publishers (2017), First Prize in the North Street Book Awards (2017), and Readers Favorite Best Cultural Fiction Bronze Medal (2018). The Kurdish Bike is highly recommended for book clubs. The author gives frequent presentations on Kurdish culture to clubs, public libraries, universities, churches, community service groups, etc. and will speak to groups via Skype upon request. She is a passionate supporter of women’s causes in rural Kurdistan, and is committed to helping the women described in the book create a better life for themselves. Visit kurdishbike.com for book club discussion questions and recipes for a Kurdish-themed meal.
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