Infidel was not a book which I would have chosen on my own, but was selected by my book club. I am glad I read it...it provided me with new insight and information on cultures and countries other than my own and made me quite thankful for the freedoms I have enjoyed.
The book is a memoir written by a woman who was raised in Somalia, and due to her father's political values was forced to flee the country and live in several other countries throughout her youth. Her family were Muslim, and she speaks about her traditional upbringing and the expectations which were placed upon her as a female, and the hardships which she and her family faced. As I read the book, I was surprised and a little chagrined to learn that while I was watching "Fraggle Rock" on cable, listening to DuranDuran, and studying about the Mesopotamians, there were people my age suffering in civil-war-torn countries that I had never even heard of. It's really too bad that current events were not stressed more in our educational system.
As she grew older and began to think for herself, she realized that she did not agree with much of what she had been taught, and began to speak out against the oppression of women in these cultures. As she spoke her truth, people who disagreed threatened her with death, and killed someone who participated with her in making these statements. I don't want to spoil everything for you, but I found the entire chain of events fascinating.
This memoir has given me some new insight regarding my own ideas, and certainly was thought-provoking. It was graphic at times, so be warned about that, but I highly recommend it. I will count this book among the most important and changing things I've read.