Blown Away by Unbowed! Reviewed in the united States on Amazon
“I thought the story was fascinating and well crafted. It had me on the edge of my seat sometimes and really couldn’t put it down. I think it is an important book, filled with interesting characters and their activities that shine a light on the terrible repression of women in many places of the world. I was very impressed by the convincing insights and details of cultures that are generally hidden from view. I would love to see it as a movie or mini-series.”
– Jessica and Pat Denver
“UNBOWED is a passionate and hopeful tale about several women awakening to and fighting to protect women’s integrity in today’s world. It does not gloss over the nightmares and atrocities of its reality. It transcends boundaries of nationality, race, religion, age and class by focusing on the rights and the dignity of every human being alike—born female or male.
“In breathtakingly beautiful and sensuous images the author describes daily rituals, memories, joyful encounters, challenges and threats—the fabric that weaves and unfolds every person’s unique life history and could change your life any day. “This is a book for women AND men—for women, to understand they’re not alone in their struggle, and for men to understand what women really need, to fully blossom in a more conscious way: housing both essential elements of yin and yang, in balance. Living your life fully is a risk—this is a colorful tale of loyalty and courage that makes you envision how elated you might feel paying this risk’s price in exchange to attain independence and freedom of spirit!!”
– Sue Mathys, singer, actress, playwright, theater producer, Zurich, CH
A Great, fulfilling read! Barnes & Noble Customer Review
“The first thing that struck me when I started reading Unbowed by Lestine is that I was being thrust into a world I’ve never even been exposed to. The story doesn’t take place on another planet, but it might as well be, because the situations and challenges the main character and many others face in the book are foreign, or alien, to me, a liberated-educated-American woman.
“To have a family that doesn’t respect you as an individual is strange enough, but to be reduced as property because you are a female is so primitive in the twenty-first century. Unbowed exposes the horrific real world consequences of such backward thinking.
“This book has all the basics of a good story: interesting characters, great scenes. A page turner. Every scene captivating and different from what I’ve read in other books. Love that. The plot has many levels. The story has a socio-political theme of freedom; a philosophical and spiritual theme running through. At times, I was challenged intellectually. I haven’t had that experience from a novel in a long time. I found myself questioning my own beliefs on different subjects.
“I loved the sensual element of the story, too. Very cinematic. I could almost taste the pastries that Basma ate or smell the food cooking on the stove, not to mention her seduction by Vincent.
“I liked how I could see the world through the eyes of a woman who in real life, I would never know, never really be connected to. I may pass her in a mega mall, or subway car if I was in New York, but I would not be brought into her world. I grew to really care about the main character, Basma.
“I like being inside of ‘Basma’s” head. That, alone, was a unique experience that can only happen in a book. I was able to share her innermost revelations. It’s apparent that she is a newcomer, not only to sexual feelings and desires, though she’s a mother, but to just thinking about life. Before meeting Vincent, she embodies the stereotype of obedient wife, and then gradually she goes through a transformation or awakening, maturing, opening.
“Through Basma and the other female characters, I was able to witness the capacity of male power or hunger for control to run amuck or how this entitlement of absolute control over all things female can lead to evil when any degree of that control is challenged.
“I love how the story morphs and expands into so much more than the expected family drama. I really couldn’t tell where I was going or what was going to happen in the end.
“I also loved the characters, especially the ones that appear in the second half of the book. Very colorful characters that I want to see more of. The character of Zafeera is a type of woman seldom portrayed in any book or film or newspaper report I’ve ever seen. Unbowed shows the reader the many sides of Muslim women beyond the faceless-burka-clad-silent submissive stereotypes. We learn that not all burka clad women desire this and that they can use it to fight back or feel an inner freedom. This should be a movie.”
[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of “Unbowed-A Novel” by Lestine.]
“It always seems impossible until it’s done. For women who have existed under years of denigration, abuse, and humiliation, the idea of living freely and independently seems impossible. But when change begins to come, it is witnessed with shock, tentative hope, and anticipation to finally cast off the chains that have held them.
“In Unbowed: A Novel by Lestine, the cruelty shown to women everywhere in the world is brought to light. In Africa, India, and the Middle East, the problem is worse and carried out under the guise of decency and religious codes. People are murdered, raped, and mutilated because they are female. Women are subjugated and stripped of their voices and identities to protect men’s dominant positions in the family and society. When brave women begin to speak out, and victims find their voices to let the whole world know their story, it leads to a revolution. This causes women to wake up and take back the freedom and rights that have been denied them.
“This novel is truly captivating and heart-wrenching. I found myself engrossed in it from start to finish while experiencing a roller coaster of emotions. I was horrified, hopeful, and joyful as the story progressed. Contrary to what I expected, it wasn’t some twisted ‘feminist’ book designed to bolster the divide between men and women. This book drew my attention to the real dangers women face. Whereas women would more easily relate to this book, anybody with a desire for equal human rights for both sexes would also enjoy this book. However, some Muslims might see this book as an attack on their religion. People who are deeply committed to the principles of Sharia law would find this book offensive. Finally, due to the explicit sexual descriptions, it won’t be appropriate for young readers.
“The author created characters that were real and endearing. All their mistakes and breakthroughs were documented and shared with the reader. They could easily have been people who really existed. The author showed the stages of their growth and how they attained maturity. For example, Basma, the main character, started as a timid, naive young woman conditioned by her environment. Through her experiences, she progressed to a courageous, outspoken woman who could make decisions for herself and take responsibility for them. This wasn’t intended to be a spoiler as there was more to Basma that you’d need to read the book to discover.
“The writing of this book was smooth, almost lyrical. The descriptions were dramatic, and the way the author built up to the climax was exciting. I got caught up in a different world while reading this book, and I almost forgot where I was. The author was able to stir up emotions with her writing to inspire her readers.
Feminists, women’s rights adherents, and people who enjoy a well-written story will have a swell time reading this book.”
– Sam Ibeh, Journalist, Content Developer, Nigeria
“This book is phenomenal! Some of the phrasing is quite moving, and the characters are so real, I can hate them or love them in that moment. I will use this book in a freshman English class I am teaching. I will order a few copies and have some students read in advance as discussion leaders.”
– Maat Andrews, screenwriter, University Professor, Houston, TX
Everyone Should Read This Book.
Reviewed in the United States on Amazon “It is hard to believe that treatment of women on religious grounds can be this disgusting. What kind of a God could possibly sanction this? Education is the only thing that can change things. Lestine is an amazing story teller.“
– Frank Herold, Video Engineer, NY
Current women evolution.
Reviewed in the United States on Amazon “This book addresses current issues regarding women all over the world ‘head on’. I loved how the content of women issues was enclosed in the form of a novel. It was hard for me to put this book down. Very exciting writing style. Highly recommended reading for men and women!”