Sand Queen by Helen Benedict

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Synopsis

Nineteen-year-old Kate Brady joined the army to bring honor to her family and democracy to the Middle East. Instead, she finds herself in a forgotten corner of the Iraq desert in 2003, guarding a makeshift American prison. There, Kate meets Naema Jassim, an Iraqi medical student whose father and little brother have been detained in the camp. 
 
Kate and Naema promise to help each other, but the war soon strains their intentions. Like any soldier, Kate must face the daily threats of combat duty, but as a woman, she is in equal danger from the predatory men in her unit. Naema suffers bombs, starvation, and the loss of her home and family. As the two women struggle to survive and hold on to the people they love, each comes to have a drastic and unforeseeable effect on the other’s life.
 
Culled from real life stories of female soldiers and Iraqis, Sand Queen offers a story of hope, courage and struggle from the rare perspective of women at war.

 

About Helen Benedict

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Helen Benedict, a Columbia University professor, has written four previous novels, five nonfiction books, and a play. Her novels have received citations for best book of the year from the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago and New York Public Libraries.






















Author Residence: New York
 
Published August 2, 2011 by Soho Press. 312 pages
Genres: War, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Sand Queen

Kirkus Reviews

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As the pressures on Kate mount (her tough, seemingly invincible bunkmate is raped by Kormick and Boner, and Kate’s attempts to file charges are laughed off), she revenges herself on the Iraqi detainees, who also single her out for torment because she is a woman.

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Publishers Weekly

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Two women, an Iraqi refugee whose father and young brother were detained by American soldiers, and a 19-year-old American Army Specialist, wrestle with the complexities of war in Benedict's thrilling and thoughtful new novel.

Jun 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Sand Queen

New York Journal of Books

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Sand Queen is so powerful precisely because Helen Benedict is so pissed off.”Anyone over age 40 remembers old war movies all with the same basic formula: an underdog band of American soldiers overcomes incredible odds to defeat an evil foreign enemy.

Aug 02 2011 | Read Full Review of Sand Queen

Bookmarks Magazine

As the two women struggle to survive and hold on to the people they love, each comes to have a drastic and unforeseeable effect on the other’s life.

Culled from real life stories of female soldiers and Iraqis, Sand Queen offers a story of hope, courage and struggle from the ...

Sep 08 2011 | Read Full Review of Sand Queen

BookIdeas.com

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Shelf Awareness

Authors of books on riots in London, such as Violent London: 2000 years of Riots, Rebels & Revolts by Clive Bloom, must be looking forward to increased sales (with a heavy heart, surely).

Aug 11 2011 | Read Full Review of Sand Queen

ForeWord Reviews

If only Specialist Kate Brady had the benefit of the Army’s new “resilience” program, she might have been better equipped to handle combat stress more cheerfully and avoid all those hidden “thinking traps,” like jumping to conclusions, over-generalizing, and blaming herself for setbacks, in this ...

Aug 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Sand Queen

Chronogram

Darnton has an intelligent gaze, a great heart, and a story to tell here, but hasn’t quite found her natural voice as a novelist.

Aug 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Sand Queen

Reader Rating for Sand Queen
75%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 34 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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