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Sirens of Memory

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  23 ratings  ·  22 reviews
"A gripping psychological thriller about the real horror that can come from the people you let in while also hitting the sweet spot between page turner and searing authenticity."
-Mike McCrary, author of RELENTLESS and HARD HEARTS

"Guha writes with authority and grace, intrepidly tackling life's harshest realities and warmest hopes in this tour-de-force thriller."
- Jamie Mas
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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 ·  23 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Leslie M.
Jul 30, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

An emotional story. Not as much of a psychological thriller, as I'd been led to believe based on the blurb, but still a good read. Key themes of abuse could be a potential trigger for some readers. It was empowering to read Mariam's journey from abuse to freedom. The active pace keeps the reader engaged and turning the pages.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy, but I wasn't required to leave a positive review.
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, first-read
Sirens of Memory is a psychological thriller that explores the trauma of an abused woman. After an arranged marriage, Tareq abuses his nineteen year-old wife, Miriam, and tries to control her every activity. Miriam takes the abuse until she can no longer stand it. She hides in her cousin Dinah's home as Tareq searches for her. Adding to the turmoil, the Iraqi army invades her home country of Kuwait and begins home-to-home violence. After a murderous encounter with Tareq, Miriam, Dinah, and a hou ...more
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
I am without words... Gut wrenching, heartbreaking, fear, happiness. This book has it all!

It's about a woman in Mariam, who is married off in an arranged marriage by her father after her mother passes away. Her husband is very violent and very very abusive. At a certain point Iraq invades Kuwait and this is the beginning of a secondary story more or less. Eventually she manages to get to the USA, but her memories come back to haunt her time and time again.

I didn't know what to expect of this bo
Sirens of Memory - a review by Rosemary Kenny

The story of Mariam, a young Kuwaiti woman forced into an arranged marriage by her widowed father, beaten (literally), down into submission and forced to use a dead woman (Ritika's), identity, (plus the support of a close female friend and her household) to save her life in every possible way, is very poignantly, brutally honestly and incredibly bravely unravelled, in Puja Guha's Sirens of Memory.

I found myself sharing Mariam's domestic 'torture chamb
Eric Cousineau
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a heart wrenching tale of a Kuwaiti woman, Miriam, married off against her wishes, at 19 years old into a toxic relationship. Her husband is a vicious and abusive man who physically, mentally and sexually assaults her. The invasion of Kuwait by Iraq sets the stage for her to escape this relationship. Believing him to be dead, Miriam escapes to India and subsequently to the United States.

The author provides with a visceral account of the effects suffered by women in abusive relationships.
Chuck Barksdale
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Puja Guha’s latest book is an interesting and exciting story in two parts about Mariam, a Kuwaiti woman faced with a bad arranged marriage that haunts her for most of her life. The first part of the book takes place just prior to and during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Mariam’s husband Tareq repeatedly beats her but she manages to escape and hides within an Indian settlement that is treated slightly better by the Iraqis than how they treat Kuwaiti people. She eventually gets to leave Ku ...more
Margaret Duke-Wyer
Jul 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020, reviewed
Mariam is a young Kuwaiti woman who was forced to marry her husband, Tareq, following the death of her mother. As we meet her we discover that she is in a very traditional family and community where the women’s lives are often strictly controlled by the men. Mariam has always to dress conservatively, has very restricted reading materials and totally subjugated by her husband. Allied to this she is forced to conceal the fact from family and friends that Tareq is extremely violent towards her, bea ...more
Sep 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Mariam, a woman in Kuwait, survives terrible abuse at the hands of her husband. She leaves him when she discovers she is pregnant. After a harrowing escape, during which her husband Tareq gets shot and left for dead, Mariam makes it out of the country by using a dead woman's identity. Raj, an Indian man, helps her and they end up staying together.

She makes it to America and settles into a nice life. She has her daughter, Aliya, and Raj raises her as his own. Mariam still blames herself for Tareq
Pearly Williams
This is a terrific book and I highly recommend it.

It was heart-wrenching to read Mariam's journey from an abusive relationship to freedom. The brisk pace of the storyline kept me totally engaged and wanting to learn about the ending.

Mariam, a Kuwaiti woman is married off against her wishes at age 19, to a man who totally abuses her, physically, emotionally, mentally, and sexually assaults her.

In the bleakness of the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, it provides Mariam an avenue of escape from her to
Aug 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Not yet 20-years of age, Kuwait native Mariam Al-Salem is the victim of an arranged marriage with a man who abuses her psychologically and physically. It is 1990, the year of the Iraqi invasion. Believing her husband dead, Mariam escapes Kuwait and eventually arrives in the U.S. Pretending to be married to a man she met during her escape with a new name and a daughter, Mariam cannot escape feelings of guilt and fear. In time, she learns her fears are justified.

Puja Guha, author of a series of in
Carol Markowitz
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sirens of Memory is a new thriller by author Puja Guha. Ms. Guha has created an extremely exciting story. Set in Kuwait and the U.S., the suspense builds throughout the book. She portrays the culture of Kuwait in a very authentic way and takes the reader there. She also realistically describes the issue of domestic abuse, the terrible plight of women in those circumstances, and the lasting effects that abuse has on women and families. Her protagonist is trying to escape from an abusive relations ...more
Deborah Rice
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Guha has written a thriller that puts you in the shoes of Mariam Qarami, who flees an abusive relationship at the start of the first Gulf War, assumes the identity of her future husband's dead wife to leave Kuwait, and finally settles in Austin, TX. She remains troubled by nightmares and takes the advice of her husband and daughter to go into therapy. After a visit to Washington, DC, her first husband discovers that she is still alive and is determined to make her come back to him.
The novel was
Doris Wiggins
Aug 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Mariam is married to Tariq. He is extremely abusive. Like most women in abusive relationships she blames herself. When she is admitted into the hospital for a concussion and cuts on her arms because he threw her through a glass table, she assures everyone that she will be fine, that because of her clumsiness she tripped and fell on the table herself. It is during this hospital visit that she is told she is pregnant. Now her focus is on escaping her husband and protecting her child at all costs.
Jane Blake
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this in a day, once I started I couldn’t put down, it’s a wonderfully written book.
My emotions were going up and down throughout, desperately hoping that Mariam was going to be able to get away from all the abuse to my heart sinking when it started up again.
Had me hooked from the moment I started reading, it was one of those books that you want to get to the end to see the outcome but on the other hand you just want it to carry on.
Would highly recommend reading it.
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was one the best books I’ve read in a very long time. It’s an absolute page turner from start to finish. Mariam’s journey pulls you in from the very first pages throughout her heart wrenching physical abuse at the hands of her cruel sadistic husband. I won’t give away any of the story away. I would highly recommend reading her story and see for yourself. Puja has become one of my new favourite authors and will be looking out for more of her books.
Kenneth Lingenfelter
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Mariam is married to Tareq arranged by her father. Tareq controls every aspect of her life. He beats her regularly. Iraq invades Kuwait and kills many residents. Mariam is trying to escape from Tareq and the Iraq army. Tareq tries to stop her and others hit him and he falls unconscious. They all thought he was dead. This is a page turning psychological thriller.
Bridget Hickey
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Maria was forced into a arranged marriage at the young age of nineteen.Her husband Tarea was abusive after a beating and being hospitalized she finds out she is pregnant.She makes plans to escape during the Gulf war and meets Raj at a Indian refugee camp.Her journey is just beginning lots of twist , turns and suspense
Sandy Grant
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Prepare yourself for an emotional rollercoaster. This story will not only keep you turning pages but it will also fill you with anger, fear, relief, and every emotion in between. The author deals with spousal abuse as well as pulls in a second story of war and politics. Her talents shine. A must read.

I received an advanced copy but this review is my own honest opinion.
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ok this book will have your heart racing, and furiously turning pages to see what's next.
The struggles of this young lady are something you really become invested in from the very start.
Definitely give it a read, you'll be glad you did.
Thank you to the Author for providing me this copy in exchange for an honest review.

Barbara Tsipouras
Abusive marriage, being a refugee and coping with trauma and guilt are the themes of this suspenseful novel. This psychological novel reads like a thriller. There's surprisingly deep insight in an abusive marriage - from both POWs. ...more
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you for the free Arc
Not my usual type of book but I thoroughly enjoyed

Jun 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Good writing and great characters.  A story of abuse of a woman by her husband set in the M.E. Asia.  This book made my heart ache. It was a hard read for me but very realistic.
chunchu karuna Sree
rated it really liked it
Jul 06, 2020
Jill Dobbe
rated it really liked it
Apr 05, 2021
Quinni Pinkerton
marked it as to-read
Jun 28, 2020
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Jun 30, 2020
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Asisipo Gunuza
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Jul 05, 2020
Puja Guha
Jul 13, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Mike Stahr
marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2020
Joanne Lewis
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Jul 22, 2020
marked it as to-read
Aug 05, 2020
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Puja Guha draws upon her experiences from traveling and living around the world in her writing. She has lived in Kuwait, Toronto, Paris, London, and several American cities including New York, Washington DC, and San Francisco. Each of these places and many more show up in her writing as her travel to places such as Mozambique, South Africa, Vietnam, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Guinea-Bissau inspire mo ...more

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