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Hate is Such a strong Word by Sarah Ayoub

August 23, 2013

hate strong wordHate is Such a Strong Word by Sarah Ayoub. Pub. HarperCollins, 2013.

Sophie is a 17 year old Lebanese Christian girl living in a strong patriarchal family where there are strong double standards about the rights that daughters have compared to their brothers. Sophie sees the unfairness of all this as she struggles to have a life with her school mates who are not so understanding about her position.

Sophie is a lovely girl, obedient, loyal and with good values about her own role as a woman in society. Her parents are unrealistically hard on her and there is no trust given her compared to her younger brother who seems to think becoming a man gives him license to be an asshole.

Set against a situation of tension between the Lebanese community and Australian society, things begin to smolder when a half Lebanese half Australian boy enrols at an exclusively Lebanese school. Sophie becomes a loose friend and working colleague of the boy Shehadie and tensions rise as her feelings towards the boy get stronger.

The place of multi cultural people is a strong theme of this novel and Sarah Ayoub has written  perceptively on racism in Australian or indeed any other community where strikingly different values and cultures live side by side. I was impressed by the argument that ” in the process of trying to preserve their own culture and values perhaps some immigrants have forgotten about the country they have come to”

High school and young adult in appeal

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