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A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband, Danny Pearl

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  2,607 ratings  ·  323 reviews
The tragic murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is well known. Why he was in Karachi; how he saw his role as an international journalist: why he was singled out for kidnapping; and where the incredible search effort led - are the subject of Mariane Pearl's book. A journalist in her own right, Mariane is, as was her husband, profoundly committed to the idea t ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 16th 2003 by Virago Press Ltd (first published 2003)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,607 ratings  ·  323 reviews


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Diane Wallace
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great read! A painful,sad and also a really courageous account of 'WHAT' really happen! (paperback!)
Diane in Australia
"The task of changing a hate-filled world belongs to each one of us." ~~ Mariane Pearl

A very moving book written by Mariane Pearl, the wife of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl. She, and her husband, both journalists, were dedicated to the idea of making certain that the public be an informed public. Sometimes that involved taking risks to get a story. Sadly, one day in 2002, Danny gave his life for that dedication.

Mariane's prologue says it all.
"I write this book for you, Dann
...more
Stef
Oct 12, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
You already know the ending, but the process of getting there is mind-blowing. Too many confusing names to keep track of, but both Pearl's determinism and strength is almost too much to bear. And no, I haven't seen the movie...
Hai Quan
Jun 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I am sorry but I found Mariane Pearl was , despite being an seasoned reporter and journalist has allowed her to be deceived by the mainstream , far right rhetoric.
She failed to realize that ,the Muslim followers after centuries of oppression by the west Christianity, couldn't stand it anymore and start to strike back.
She and her husband were caught up in the vortex created by this conflict.

I don't know about Danny viewpoint regarding this fierce and explosive clash between this two religions, I
...more
Carrie
Nov 06, 2007 rated it really liked it
This book was definitely difficult to read at times. It was heart-breaking to imagine what Mariane Pearl must have felt as she helped investigate the kidnapping of her husband, Wall Street journalist Daniel Pearl, by Islamic Fundamentalists. Mariane's humanity and strength are quite amazing. As a journalist who has seen Islamic Fundamentalism firsthand, she also does a good job of giving an insider's account of what its threat means to the Western World. This book is definitely sad (be ready to ...more
Will Byrnes
Oct 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
A very good telling of her experience of Daniel's travails, and her own.
Andrea Cox
Wow. After having seen the movie version of this story, starring Angelina Jolie as Mariane Pearl, I felt it would be worth reading the memoir by Mrs. Pearl. I was right; it was worth my time. My heart mourns that terrorism is a thing and that innocent people must perish in such graphic, violent ways. I'm glad I read this book, and I'll be keeping my copy for a future reading or two when I need a good cry.

Content: expletives, profanity, alcohol, sexual references
Courtney
I had put this book on my Amazon wish list awhile back, around the same time I saw the movie adaptation starring Angelina Jolie. I knew that the movie stayed as true as possible to the book, so I really wanted to get a more in-depth look at the life of Danny and Mariane Pearl.

The portrait Mariane Pearl paints of her husband, their friends, Pakistan, and those who were a part of the massive effort to find and bring Danny Pearl home is detailed and incredibly perceptive. She made me feel as if I k
...more
Angie
Jun 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
When I was in high school, I felt like I was the only one in the world who cared about a journalist named Daniel Pearl. I was, at least, the only one in my high school who cared about it.

Until I approached the teacher who ran the school newspaper about writing an article on him.

It was my first year on the staff, and I was pretty much the head editor anyways, going in after school to edit and change the layouts of articles.

If I remember correctly, my article on Daniel Pearl was printed on the fro
...more
Kristina
This was a beautiful and touching book. I enjoyed learning about their life together. It was amazing to see how many people cared deeply about Danny Pearl and worked to find him. The movie is also very good.
Gary
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A moving and absorbing real life account of the last months of Daniel Pearl and how his wife Marianne dealt with being in Pakistan after Daniel was kidnapped by Islamic terrorists. A window into the mind of the terrorists and jihadis who plague the world , whether it be the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan ruling the areas under their control with terror, Hamas and Islamic Jihad targeting Israel's
civilian population , Islamists killing Buddhists in Burma or killing Christians in Nigeria, Iran
...more
Graceann
Mar 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who love freedom and peace
Shelves: memoir
On January 23, 2002, Daniel Pearl hopped into a taxi in pursuit of a story, and became one instead. This book is the memoir of his wife, Mariane, as she navigated the days and weeks after his kidnapping and murder, and the birth of their son.

Mariane Pearl's feeling of helplessness, despite being better equipped with knowledge of her surroundings than most would be in the same situation, is palpable. Her skill as a writer shines through in these pages - her increasing loathing for the recorded v
...more
Sherry Elmer
I well remember how I prayed and worried when I’d heard that Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter, had been kidnapped in Karachi, Pakistan by Islamic extremists. And I remember the grief I felt when I learned he had been brutally executed. I am thankful to have read this book and to have learned much about a good, intelligent, empathetic, loving, funny man. He was the kind of person that should fill this world. But I was also thankful to learn that just as my heart had gone out to Marian ...more
Nicole
Aug 12, 2008 rated it liked it
This was a great book and a horrible real life account of the kidnapping and murder of journalist Danny Pearl in Pakistan. It is also a reminder of how little I truly know about al qaeda and international terrorism in general. So many groups, religions, organizations, and players that continuously morph is overwhelmingly scary. And the corruption is absolutely absurd. Not a particularly 'pretty' read, nor do I think it is written exceptionally well - but very informative. I havent seen the movie ...more
Jenn
Dec 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting true story of kidnapping in Pakistan and the murder of Danny Pearl a journalist from New York. Written by his wife who was pregnant with their son, Adam when Danny was beheaded.

Turned into a movie starring Angelina Jolie which I have yet to see but have been told is heartwrenching.
Adrian Jackson
Jan 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
I wanted to enjoy this, but it was awful. In the midst of retelling the kidnapping and death of her husband, she includes details like a fun trip to McDonald's, hot guys and camaraderie. I found that this diminished what was important, and made the book unappealing. It was not well-written (the author is a journalist), but, worse, it also poorly edited.
Mary
Mar 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Absolutely heartbreaking story, of course, because we all know the outcome, but she is a great writer. Reads like a novel.
Melissa Ball
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I don't have words. Her story and that of Danny are a true work of strength and courage and intelligence. Read it with a whole heart.
Jessica Marie
A heartbreaking read that pulls you into the search for Danny Pearl. Even though I knew Danny's fate, I still held my breath (and hope) until the very end.
Boshika Gupta
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Words are not enough. Words are just not enough.
Paolo Aguas
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book is extremely good, one really gets to feel what Marianne was feeling during the whole endeavor. This is the kind of book that I feel that racists need to read to understand that yes there is evil in this world, but that evil is not from only one particular race of people. Marianne Pearl does a great job in recognizing everyone who helped her and showing their humanity and their morals. Just because the terrorists who killed Daniel Pearl are Muslim does not mean that all Muslims are evil ...more
Kellen
Another heavy, but incredibly moving read. Being a longtime Angelina Jolie fan I saw the movie years ago but the book has been on my To Read list for a long time. Mariane Pearl is undoubtedly one of the strongest people who has ever lived. The way she handled herself with such courage, dignity, and grace while living through this nightmare is awe inspiring. And sweet, goofy Danny. Adoring husband, excited expectant father, seeker of justice and truth, and another beautiful soul ripped out of thi ...more
Maughn Gregory
I listened to Krista Tippet's long interview of Mariane Pearl in which Pearl described how her Buddhist meditation practice and spirituality helped her live through the kidnapping and murder of her husband Daniel with defiance but not hate. (https://onbeing.org/programs/mariane-...) That strength of spirit is evident on every page of this book. And journalists like the Pearls, who risk their own safety to discover and report difficult, complex truths about the world are heroes. ...more
Iman Nasution
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Dear person,

This is definitely a life-changing story. Thank you Marianne for sharing your story with all of us. i am inspired by your strength and the way you handle the tragedy. You are an inspiring woman and a wonderful person. I truly believe that Danny Pearl was a good man and an honest journalist who was giving everyone a chance to use their voice. What had happened to him was an awful tragedy and it was unfair but he is in a better place now, a guardian angel to his beloved wife and son
...more
Susan
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well written and hard to read retelling of the kidnapping and eventual murder of Daniel Pearl, the author's husband, at the hands of terrorists in Pakistan shortly after the 9/11 bombings. She writes with intense detail and passion about her experiences before, during and immediately after the event.
DaShannon
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I heard Mariane Pearl speak at the Women's Lecture Series in Cincinnati in 2004 I think. She was amazing and conveyed not only her story but the story of her husband Danny Pearl a Wall Street Journal reporter who first went missing and then was beheaded on camera by terrorists. Her account reiterates for us as Americans why we need reporters who take necessary risks to get to the truth.
Nicole
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The memoir of Daniel Pearl, written by his wife. A heart-wrenching story that will have your stomach in knots the entire time. If you enjoy it, check out the film starring Angelina Jolie (one of the only movies I can appreciate her in. It's undeniable).
W
Oct 06, 2019 added it
Shelves: biography
The murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl,in Karachi in 2002,was big news worldwide.This is the memoir of his widow,Mariane.A sad book,which also became a movie,with Angelina Jolie playing Mariane Pearl.
Nicole Capogna
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"War held no appeal for Danny or for me. What interested us was the challenge presented by peace. People often see peace as the simple absence of war, but it is instead the result of courageous actions taken to initiate a dialogue between civilizations."
Susan Rice
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I remember being sickened when I heard that Danny Pearl had been murdered so viciously. After reading Marianne's book I felt sick again but her words and strength were astounding. Such a lesson in hope.
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She is a French freelance journalist and a reporter and columnist for Glamour magazine. She is the widow of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and murdered by terrorists in Pakistan in early 2002.

Pearl, being of Dutch-Jewish, Afro-Latino-Cuban and Chinese Cuban ancestry and raised in Paris, Van Neyenhoff met Daniel Pearl while he was on assignment in Paris.

They marrie
...more

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“It's like Romeo & Juliet,' I say. 'You can't separate them. Otherwise, there would be no Shakespeare.'
Silence.
I decide to be more straightforward. I tell him, 'Nothing frightens me anymore. I am not even afraid to die.'
Bussey's eyes, already wide open, grow even wider. My death is the last thing he needs.
I have the strange feeling that there are two of me. One observes the conversation while the other does the talking. Everything is abnormal, especially this extreme calm that has taken me over. I try to explain to Bussey that if I decide to die, it will be without bitterness. I know I did everything I possibly could, so it will be respectful farewell. I will bow to life like an actor, who, having delivered his lines, bends deeply to his audience & retires. I tell Bussey that this decision has nothing to do with him, that it is entirely mine. I will choose either to live or to die, but I cannot allow myself to live in the in-between. I do not want to go through life like a ghost.
'Do you think you'll find Danny this way?' Bussey asks.
My mind sifts through all available theories on the afterlife. It is as if this metaphysical question has become as real as the air we breathe. Buddhism teaches that life is an eternal cycle without beginning or end. I recall the metaphor: "Our individual lives are like waves produced from the great ocean that is the universe. The emergence of a wave is life, and its abatement is death. This rhythm repeats eternally."
Finally I answer Bussey, 'No, I don't think so.'
Bussey seems relieved, but I'm more panicky, because I had never thought that I could wind up alone. In my mind, whatever the odds, Danny & I were & would be together forever.”
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“What she saw in their eyes terrified her. She was a woman traveling alone, in a country that had not seen exposed female faces in over five years. She turned back and cried tears of frustration all the way to Pakistan.

...Asra..., I find her fantasy delightful. Who else would risk her life to take stuffies to Afghanistan?”
5 likes
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