Note: the following is from North Bay Media Review.com
Heart of Thorns
Abdullah K. Rahmani
with Carolyn L. Miller
Imagine going through life as a young boy, witnessing the brutal beatings of a father upon a mother; realizing your deeper fears come true with the caretaker of the house, watching your country invaded by an outside nation, then escaping to a place called America, finally realizing you have a life and a right to live out your destiny as you see fit.
This is the life experience growing up for one Abdullah K. Rahmani’s Heart of Thorns, as told to the readers by Carolyn L. Miller. In this book, you’ll read about Mr. Rahmani’s years growing up in Kabul, Afghanistan before the Soviet occupation in 1979, during the invasion and after, fleeing to America for safety. Along the way, you’ll read about how Mr. Rahmani grew up, the friends he made, the people that violated his body and mind, and it will shock you to find out who, and feeling his heartfelt love for his family although his father’s violent displays towards his mother and his mother’s denial of affection create a heart of thorns that eventually Abdullah learns to shed, no matter how painful it is.
Upon reading this book, I didn’t quite figure out right away Mr. Rahmani was part of a family of influence in his native country until later. He gives a vivid and graphic detail of the rapes he encountered, the feelings of sadness when he doesn’t feel the love his heart requires from his parents, his fears about the day the Soviet tanks entered Kabul is a emotionally stirring account of what he witnessed on the streets while at the same time, reuniting with his parents and planning their escape; and while the reader may not agree with Mr. Rahmani’s sexual preference, they will come away with the feeling that there are things you can change, and things you cannot. I found this to be a good read and through history lesson. It is amazing that Mr. Rahmani could remember in exact detail all of the bittersweet things that affected his maturing years and uses them as a form of catharsis to heal himself. Heart of Thorns is a benefit into forgiveness and healing each of us can profit from, no matter who or what we are.
Charles L. Chatmon
Author of The Depths of My Soul
and The Voices of South Central