Friday, November 2, 2018

Book Review: Breaking Vases: Shattering Limitations & Daring to Thrive - A Middle Eastern Woman's Story by Dima Ghawi

Abuse. Sometimes physical and mostly mental. But the degrading feeling an abused person undergoes cannot be soothed with any balm. Breaking Vases: Shattering Limitations & Daring to Thrive - A Middle Eastern Woman's Story by Dima Ghawi is a story that must be told. Must be heard in every household where women are often hidden from society in the name of honor and family pride. 

Dima's story starts off with a natural eastern flavor. I felt ashamed because in some parts I started questioning what the heck is the issue here. I started doubting if the book was at all about abuse. Some of the scenes are so natural in all families that it never draws to you that it's not natural. It's not natural not to have a choice. It's not natural not to have a say in your house. And it's not natural to lead a life where your education is considered a luxury. 

But into this world of social deprivation is born a little girl called Dima. Where she is taught to obey her father without questioning his authority. As she grows up she learns to curb her questioning nature for it would bring out bouts of fight in the household.  And the exact same transfers to her husband when she gets married. This part of the story I found very interesting. Her heart filled with romance and while I am sure her husband did care for her, but his upbringing, where he is taught that women are the weaker sex, does not let him give his hundred percent to his marriage. There are many places in this book where you will question the absence of abuse. But as you read on, the subtle way it has been introduced is mind-blowing. It's an abuse of rights. An abuse of relationship. A psychological abuse. 

Breaking Vases is a story of Dima who breaks every social norm to reach a level where she becomes a motivator for many women. Her story is a story of immigration, of starting a new life with nothing. It would have been so easy to give in. To accept the life she felt was destined for her. Yet she chose an independent path which must not have been easy for her. More than fighting the abuser, fighting the society becomes more difficult. 

I cannot even understand how a divorce of a niece will affect the aunts and uncles and other members of the society. This hypocrisy is difficult to digest. I applaud Dima for the courage she has shown in fighting against the patriarchal society. 

This book has some powerful scenes. The scene where both the mother and daughter walk out as free women is one of the most powerful and inspiring in this book. The second one when realization dawns on Dima as to why her father is supporting her is like a revelation that destroys her innocent mind forever. Shattered Vases is shattering of innocent ideologies- one by one.

From the first page, Dima's character makes a home in your heart. There were moments when I wanted to pat her back and yet was astounded when she quietly revolted against her father. It was the last scene with her father I could relate to most. To love someone unconditionally, even your parents and hope for that love to be returned can break any child's heart when it's not. 

An emotional roller coaster ride and one I am glad I got to read this book.

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At November 2, 2018 at 11:43 AM , Blogger Sundari Venkatraman said...

What a wonderful and detailed review. You make me want to read this book, Rubina. Women's emancipation - they are still words in our world.

At November 2, 2018 at 11:47 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Dear Rubina, thank you for the wonderful review of Breaking Vases. I am thankful to be connected with you.


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