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What Was Never Said by Emma Craigie - Review

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Where did I get it? I bought it on Kindle, it was around £4.

What's it about? It's a novel about Female Genital Mutilation, which is what attracted me to buying the book in the first place. Zahra is Somali and at the beginning of the novel she is a little girl in Somalia, playing with her sister Rahma and their friend Yas. Then the cutter comes, and cuts both Rahma and Yas. Rahma dies from the procedure. The narrative then moves to Bristol, where Zahra's family is living, with her new little sister Samsam. One Friday evening, the cutter arrives, with her suitcase and in her black clothes. Zahra can't bear the idea of either herself or Sam being cut, so she runs away, taking Sam with her. 
What age range is it for? 14+ as it's a very sensitive subject. 
Are any main characters LGBTQ+? No
Are any main characters people of colour? Yes, most everyone is Somali in the novel, and Muslim (which most Somalis are)
Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? I'm not sure if being cut is a disability, but it's clear that Zahra is traumatised from what happened to her sister, and that Yas still lives with the after effects of being cut, too. 
Is there any sex stuff? No
Are drugs mentioned or used? No
Is there any talk of death? Yes. There's also stuff about the war in Somalia which caused the family to flee. Trigger warning for so much in this novel. It is very very sensitively done, though. 
Are there swear words? Not many 
Would I recommend the book? Yes. It's very short but I really liked Zahra and Sam and Yas. I loved how the novel ended - I felt it was the ending that it deserved. 
How many stars? Eight out of ten. 

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