Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Truth About Owls, by Amal El-Mohtar

Published in Kaleidoscope, from Twelfth Planet Press, August 2014

Anisa is a young girl now living in Glasgow with her mother, but she spent her earlier childhood living in Lebanon with her father, grandmother, and other relatives. When war struck a little too close to home, her father decided that Anisa, having been born in the UK, needed to go join her mother there and be safe.

Starting with her first sighting of an owl in Lebanon, an eagle owl that kills one of the family's chickens, Anisa becomes fascinated with owls, and in stages, learns more about them, and about herself.

At some point, strange things start happening when she's feeling strong emotions.

She's feeling destructive surges of power that she struggles to control, struggles not to hurt anyone.

It's not really possible to say more without giving too much away. This is a gentle, surprising, moving coming of age story, and well worth your time.

Recommended.