Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Review: "The Weight of a Mustard Seed" Wendell Stevenson

From the Publisher's Website:

"General Kamel Sachet was a favourite of Saddam Hussein’s, a hero of the Iran-Iraq war, head of the army in Kuwait City during Desert Storm and the governor of the province of Maysan. But when it came time for his sons to do their military service, he refused to let them join the “criminal” organization that he had given his life to. Sachet realized, too late, that he had become a participant in the terror regime that had strangled his country and destroyed its people.

Through the story of Kamel Sachet and those around him—his wife; his sons and daughters; his friend, a psychiatrist; the head of the Republican Guard; a director of Abu Ghraib prison—Wendell Steavenson shows the choices Iraqis have had to make between exile and collaboration, God and jihad. In the spirit of The Bookseller of Kabul and Stasiland, The Weight of a Mustard Seed captures the universal humanity and the tragedy of unintended consequences."


This book was not just about General Kamel Sachet and his family. Although their story is the common thread that binds all of the other stories together, we learn the stories of many individuals and their familes who have been directly involved in or affected by the terror regime of Saddam Hussein.

I've always been fascinated by Middle-Eastern culture, so this book offered me a glimpse into their world as well as an alternate perspective on recent wars, such as the "War on Terror" being led by the United States. We are bombarded with media, even still, about America's involvement in the war, but we are not often given the opportunity to look at specific events in a different way. Wendell Stevenson took the time to live in Iraq for many years amid the constant chaos and uncertainty, and she offers her readers a first-hand look at how this war, as well as others, have affected Iraqui citizens. This book was extremely well-researched and written very coherently, and I apreciated being presented with all of the different viewpoints. I know one thing for sure: I certainly won't look at the war, or the consequences for everyone involved, the same way again.

You can Browse Inside this book here. Thanks to Harper Collins Canada for the review copy!


  1. thanks for the great review. keep them coming.

  2. Thanks Gerry! I really enjoy reading new books and I enjoy blogging about them almost as much!