Latest review…

Lisa Ceh

4.0 out of 5 stars 

Eye-opening and eye-watering look into the life of Kurdish Women

Reviewed on on 27 August 2021

Once I started reading, I was drawn into the war torn world beyond our satisfied lifestyle. The Kurdish people have nerves and back bones of steel because they face difficulties as a collective group to fight unjust situations and life’s hardships. I couldn’t put this book down. I am seriously waiting for the sequel.

My recent art…

Hey guys, recently I have been getting back into visual art. I have been taking some art classes and loving exploring the techniques and mediums. I studied art until year 10 at school and had private lessons from an artist I knew. I wanted to be a visual artist growing up but at a certain point I realised I wanted to focus on writing. However, I still love visual art, and I love the way you can create an impression of something or someone, and use colour and lines to recreate the creation. It’s a beautiful process. Anyway, I wanted to share some of my art. πŸ™‚

I hope you are all going well, in whatever country you live in, and that things in your country will improve on the Corona front. We are fortunate in Australia – our isolation has helped us, as well as good decisions by governments. But stay well everyone! Lots of love from across the ocean. πŸ™‚ Suz

Female soldiers from Kobane featured in book…

Hey guys,

I was on Facebook this morning and on my feed there was an item about this new book about the women who fought ISIS in Kobane. I am glad these women are getting more attention now, and with Hilary Cli nton’s new show about strong women featuring them as well. My book Where the Sun Rises was inspired by these women and I started writing and researching in 2015 and finished it in 2018/19. Where the sun Rises was published in 2019 and is about two best friends and how they have to sacrifice different things in their lives, to fight for each other as well as to defend their land and also for women’s rights. My book though it is a novel is based on real women I researched over 3 years. If you are interested to check out a novel that delves into themes of friendship, courage, loyalty and the fight for rights, and what lengths people will go to, in defence of their friends, then Where the Sun Rises would suit you. Thanks for reading, and stay safe. πŸ™‚ Suzanne

(My book is available on amazon and many other outlets as well).

New Review: Where the Sun Rises

“Spoilers: The themes of war and feminism on the homefront and battlefield are revealed in Suzanne Strong’s novel, Where The Sun Rises, a suspenseful and heartbreaking novel about two women who join an all-female fighting unit in war torn Syria.

In 2014, Karin and Roza are two friends who live in Kobane, Syria in tense anticipation as Daesh’s army is closing in on the Kurds. Many men are fighting a resistance against the approaching army. The people left behind are left with the choices: either leave Syria forever, take up arms and join the fight, or stay and take their chances. Either way, these are difficult dour options, options that could end in misery, violence, and death.
Roza and Karin are ready to face these dark changing times. Roza is a teacher and married woman who lives with her loving husband, Sercan, and darling son, Yez. Karin is unmarried, but has her own views about what a woman should do. She recently ended an engagement with an abusive fiance. Karin is ready to fight against Daesh, but her traditional family forbids it. Her brothers can go of course.
Sercan is joining the Resistance against Daesh. Roza is worried and doesn’t want him to go, but understands why he has to. When Sercan and Karin’s brother, Mani, are killed in action, Roza and Karin grieve, but then wipe their tears and enlist in the Yekineyen Parastina Jin (YPJ), the all-female fighting unit.

This novel is particularly effective in how Roza and Karin are portrayed. They are motivated to join by grief and revenge, but also by other reasons. Roza is protective towards Yez and signs up as an ultimate act of motherhood to keep any harm from coming towards her child. Karin enlists as though to prove her worth as a woman. She is tired of being treated as a second class citizen and wants to prove her worth to her country, family, and herself.
Karin is rational and feisty while Roza is quiet and emotional, but the two make a great team. Their friendship is developed on the battlefield as violence and bloodshed that surrounds them makes them more protective towards each other.

We also see characterization developed in the rest of the unit as well. Perhaps Strong wanted to avoid stereotypes and cliches. Perhaps since the lead characters are female, Strong wanted to emphasize collaboration over competition, but Commander Tolhedan, their leader, is a relief. While she is stern, she is not a shouting drill sergeant. She has a dry sense of humor and clear compassion towards the women in her unit. Tolhedan knows that “a woman can fight” against their enemy and society’s perception of them and is ready to use any means necessary to help her women prove it.

There are some really tense moments that solidify the horrors of war and the deep friendships that the women feel towards each other. Their joy is felt when they defiantly sing traditional Kurdish folk songs over a fire. Suspense mounts as the YPJ take on a dangerous mission to rescue a soldier’s sister and other women who are about to be trafficked to Daesh’s army. They also face heartbreak when a raid results in the death of a friend and colleague of Karin and Roza’s.

Karin and Roza’s characters evolve even as their friendship is strengthened on the front. The intense grief is understood when Karin and Roza return to Kobane and Roza pays her respects to Sercan’s grave no longer the shy schoolteacher, but a fierce warrior ready for action. Karin also begins a transformation as she develops close friendships with the other women and begins to trust and fall in love with a male journalist who shares her progressive views about women. The two friends help each other through the changes as Karin provides another emotional center for Yez and Roza helps steer Karin towards her own personal happiness.

Where the Sun Rises shines with rich fully characterized women who face war and death, but most importantly are pulled together by their friendship. This friendship is what helps see them through the dark days of war and look towards the better brighter days ahead.”

Kurdish women recognised by Clinton…

Hey guys,

My friend sent me this. 😊This is very Interesting, isn’t it? My novel is about these women that fought in Kobane, Syria against Daesh, particularly two best friends, it is fictional but based on extensive research I did over 3 years (it was published in 2019). Good to see these courageous women getting attention. 😊#kurdish#kurdishwomenfighters#kurdishwomenpower


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