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Take What You Can Carry Audio CD – Unabridged, 1 May 2021
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"This is an unforgettable story about war and family, responsibility and love, but Sardar also pays tribute to the priceless connections we forge at the most terrible moments...A heartbreaking story about war, family, and love." --Kirkus Reviews
"Olivia is a secretary at a Los Angeles newspaper aspiring to be a photojournalist, so when her Kurdish boyfriend Delan is invited home to Iraq for a wedding, she sees tagging along as her chance to not only broaden her work, but to learn more about Delan's culture. In 1979, Iraq is plagued by war and when the trip proves to be even less safe than they anticipated, Olivia is confronted with a side of the world she's never experienced. But amid the war is beauty, family, and love--until Olivia captures a tragic moment and upends all of their lives." --Buzzfeed
"Timely, romantic, and thrilling from start to finish, Gian Sardar crafts a story with great beauty and heartbreak, reminding us the harder we work to truly know one another, the better we come to understand ourselves. Those of us who love books know this is exactly why we read." --Steven Rowley, bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus and The Editor
"At once heartbreaking and hopeful, this story's magic is in the power its characters have to love--a partner, a family, a homeland, a people--deeply and unconditionally. I was gripped by Gian Sardar's emotional storytelling until the final page." --Jill Santopolo, New York Times bestselling author of More Than Words
"Lush and sensual and dangerous, Take What You Can Carry is an eye-opening story that deserves to be told. Gian Sardar's prose is breathtaking; and her book took me on a fascinating journey that I'd never before imagined. A true original." --Janelle Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Things and Watch Me Disappear
"Take What You Can Carry by Gian Sardar is a beautifully written, absorbing novel that swept me away to 1979 Kurdistan and Los Angeles. Filled with richly drawn characters, it's by turns a love story and a war story, a coming-of-age and a tragedy, but ultimately a story about hope and the depth of family bonds. Lush, atmospheric, and gorgeous, this is an unforgettable novel." --Jillian Cantor, USA Today bestselling author of The Lost Letter and In Another Time
"With lush, vivid settings, Take What You Can Carry is a story of love and family, and of the heartbreaking power of returning home to the place that knows you best." --Julie Clark, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Flight
"Take What You Can Carry is that rare dream of a novel that transports readers to a time and place--late 1970s Kurdistan, Iraq--with the power and immediacy of a lush perfume. Sardar delivers a high-stakes love story between a Kurdish immigrant turned Hollywood actor and a fierce aspiring photojournalist that uncovers the burden and blessing of family, ambition, and privilege during times of political upheaval. A thoroughly modern journey to the recent past, this novel is an aching pleasure, a revelation." --Yoojin Grace Wuertz, author of Everything Belongs to Us
"Take What You Can Carry is a poignant tale of love and loss, persecution and betrayal. Gian Sardar vividly portrays the heartbreak of two lovers swept up in a political turmoil that threatens to tear them apart as it rips at the fabric of the Kurdish way of life. It's both a sweeping love story and an epic adventure that will have you frantically turning pages while brushing away tears." --Bianca Marais, author of Hum If You Don't Know the Words and If You Want to Make God Laugh
"Set forth in vivid, propulsive writing, Take What You Can Carry is a love story that is also a love song to the Kurdish people and an adventure tale that balances the risks of ambition with the costs of responsibility. Blending romance and near history, Gian Sardar has produced a tale filled with indelible images and characters one comes to know as family. A rich and satisfying read." --Meg Howrey, author of The Wanderers
"Take What You Can Carry is a beautifully crafted, heartrending portrait of the disparate worlds of America and Kurdistan in the 1970s woven together with an epic love story that is rich, tragic, compelling, and realized with deep care and insight. Powerful and moving." --Suzanne Redfearn, bestselling author of In an Instant
"Take What You Can Carry is a heart-wrenching journey of understanding between two worlds as foreign as they are familiar that will change everything you thought you knew about Iraq." --Kristin Fields, author of A Lily in the Light and A Frenzy of Sparks
About the Author
Gian Sardar was born in Los Angeles, California. Her father is from Kurdistan of Iraq, and her mother is from Minnesota. She studied creative writing at Loyola Marymount University, is the author of the novel You Were Here, and is the coauthor of the memoir Psychic Junkie. Gian's work has appeared in the New York Times and Confrontation Magazine and on Salon.com, among other places. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, and insane dog, and she enjoys gardening, cooking, and other forms of procrastination. For more information, visit www.giansardar.com.
- Publisher : Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (1 May 2021)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1713551195
- ISBN-13 : 978-1713551195
- Dimensions : 13.46 x 1.27 x 17.02 cm
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Top reviews from Australia
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At times I found it a little slow with all the description, but maybe I have been reading too many more shallow books recently. I thoroughly enjoyed, appreciated and 'felt' this book.
If you have a love of learning about worlds outside of your own and are ready to have your thoughts provoked read this.
Top reviews from other countries
This novel is inspired in places by real events which have been recounted to the author for instance by her father, but in trying to put these all together so this lacks the momentum that it should ideally have had. This reads to a certain extent like a series of sketches and would perhaps have been better if it had been written as a book of interconnecting short stories. We get at times a lot of backwards and forwards in chronology as we read of things that have happened in the not too distant past, with the present, which start to become mixed and blurred, taking away a certain impact from the tale.
With what was happening with the Kurds at this particular time in Iraq, so we have elements about wanting to become a photojournalist, women’s rights in the workplace, love and so on, which do not always come together in a smooth blend, and at times do actually jar. It is like the author wanted to put too many things in this one novel, instead of perhaps studying in depth certain subjects in other books in the future.
What we end up with then is something that at times is quite messy, and there is no strong emotion or real depth to the characters, making this read at times more like reportage, than a novel. On top of this there are a few sentences that are quite badly written and should have been picked up before publication, which does not bode well for this. This is not the first work by this author, but to a certain extent that is what it feels like and has nothing to raise it above numerous other novels, and there is much better based on the topics that appear here, and with more oomph.
I chose the book to learn more about the Kurds but this is so much more. It is a story of love, love on so many levels. It is beautiful, sad, harrowing, illuminating, horrifying and aggressively one of the best books I have read in a long time🙏
Written with a raw honesty about the reality of a precarious life in a beautiful place, I could feel through Gian's words the love & compassion felt for her characters.
Her descriptive powers had me feeling so much - the heat, the dust, the downpours - as well as the palpitating fear and the power of love. As I read I crouched & hid & laughed & cried. I sweated in the heat & turned my face upward to the beating rain. Magnificent imagery.
And the character - real, down to earth people. Oh I loved it & wanted more.
And anyone who's ever read any of my reviews will know that I love an uplifting ending & that I'll never give the story away. Well done Ms Sardar, well done.