Ian's Reviews > What the Day Owes the Night

What the Day Owes the Night by Yasmina Khadra
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3652044
's review
Aug 06, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: a-kindle, coming-of-age, romance, war, colonialism
Read in January, 2016

This a story set in French colonial Algeria from the 1930's to the 1960's. It tells the story of Younes a boy initially living in abject poverty whose life is dramatically altered when his devout and devoted but hopelessly impoverished father and mother hand over his care to his father's much more affluent brother who is married to a white European woman. His new parents immediately change his name to the European style Jonas and this signifies a transformed future from a life as an uneducated peasant to that of a cultured middle class Franco Algerian. As Algeria changes, as the forces for change take hold, Jonas finds himself caught like a rabbit in the headlights in the middle of an unwavering indecision between love and friendship, poverty and wealth, Algerian nationalism and French colonialism, Arab and European identity, Islam and Christianity. The author weaves all these themes around the life of this one boy to man who seems to be a permanent observer of those around him who all act while he misses out on the opportunities that life can present.
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01/10/2016 marked as: read

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