BOOK REVIEW: Beneath the Same Heaven by Anne Marie Ruff

37795839-_sy180_Title & Author: Beneath the Same Heaven, Anne Marie Ruff
Publication Date & Publisher: March 2018, Open Books
Genre(s): General (Adult) Fiction, Literary Fiction
Length: 410 pages
My Rating: 4.5/5.0

Description (from Goodreads):

A story of love and terrorism.

Beneath the Same Heaven is a love story of an American woman and a Pakistani-born Muslim man, who seem to have bridged the divide between Western and Islamic world views. But when the husband’s father is killed by a US drone attack near the Afghan border, their cross-cultural family descends into conflicting ideas of loyalty, justice, identity, revenge, and terrorism. With candor, beauty, and unusual insight, their story reveals both how decent people can justify horrific acts, and the emotional power required to heal.

My review:

If you’ve read my WWW Wednesday from July 18, then you know that this book turned out to be so good that it just about broke me emotionally. It reads as a mystery combined with a love story combined with intense family drama.

The main character, Kathryn, is an American woman who marries Rashid, a Pakistani-born Muslim man.  Their love story is raw and believable in a way that draws you in without you noticing how attached you’re becoming to the characters.

Beneath the Same Heaven is broken up into Four Parts: The Book of Before, The Book of Kathryn, The Book of Rashid, and The Book of After.  When I first began reading it, I didn’t think I was going to like it. BUUUUTTTT…

I now believe Beneath the Same Heaven should be required reading! 

By the end of Part Two, I was so deeply committed and emotionally involved in the story of Kathryn and Rashid, that I had to take a break and walk away. This has never happened to me before! But mine and Kathryn’s hearts had been broken… our world was upside down… nothing had turned out the way it was supposed to, even though it seemed that things would be okay in the end… But things weren’t right!

I found myself talking about Kathryn as if she were a real person whose life was intertwined with my own. The problem (other than being that attached to a fictional character) was that there was no way for me to talk to her and give her my advice or comfort her at all! And her situation felt so real that I had broken right along with her…

My poor husband had to suffer the wrath of my intense emotional breakdown over what Rashid had put Kathryn and their children through. It felt as if he had just put me through it as well… I felt bad for abandoning her in her time of need, but my family needed me to take a break and come back to reality before proceeding with the rest of story.

And WHAT a rest of the story it was…

Anne Marie Ruff actually managed to make me root for the terrorist!!!

Still, I wasn’t all that thrilled with the beginning… to the point that I almost DNF’d the book! (Insanely glad I didn’t!!!) The problem was what seemed to me to be near gratuitous sex scenes between Kathryn and Rashid. I understand that the author was trying to show their deep desire & connection to each other, but it came across as forced and overly detailed at times. If it hadn’t been for this, Beneath the Same Heaven would easily be a full 5.0 instead of the 4.5 rating I gave it.

I definitely recommend picking up this book and devouring it as soon as possible!

What do you think? Have you read Beneath the Same Heaven? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

Thank you to Open Books for providing me with a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Click Here to Purchase Beneath the Same Heaven from Book Depository.

 

 

Advertisements

July 2018 Wrap-Up

July was a complete and total blur for me! We were so busy I didn’t get to finish anywhere near as many books as I had planned, but I did get to discover a few really great new books and authors.

So here’s my July Wrap-Up of all the books I reviewed in July:

40598920Truth Seer by Kay L. Moody.  Not only did I LOVE this book, but I also was able to interview the author. If you haven’t had the opportunity to do so already, be sure to check out the review and interview!

 

22914448-_sx120_

 

The Dead Key by D.M. Pulley. This was the first time I’d read anything by D.M. Pulley, but it definitely won’t be the last!

 

cover132474-medium

Mystic Dragon by Jason Denzel. For the first time ever, I actually jumped into the middle of a series and wasn’t upset about it!

 

 

38749523

 

Priceless by Jen Barrick. I wasn’t as blown away by this devotional as I expected to be, but it was still a good devotional for teen girls.

 

 

I also finished reading Beneath the Same Heaven by Anne Marie Ruff, which I absolutely loved, but I haven’t been able to finish up the review yet.

I’m looking forward to my August TBR and hopefully a more productive month!

 

WWW Wednesday -July 25, 2018

img_1384-0WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words.  I’ve been doing it for a few weeks now and it’s a lot of fun sharing what all I’m currently reading and visiting the other participant blogs to find more to add to my TBR pile!!!

Don’t know what it is or how to participate??? All you need to do is answer the following three questions and link back to Taking on a World of Words, or you can put your answers in the comments on her blog!

The three WWW questions are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

 

Today’s WWW Wednesday is going to be much shorter than usual (I skipped my normal little comments). We’ve got a stomach bug wreaking havoc in our home and well, I love WWW Wednesday but I’ve got 2 dogs, 5 kids and a husband… and I’m still semi-standing. Basically…

giphy3
via Giphy

(Hehehe… I’ll be honest… I probably could’ve added in a few sentences, but I’ve been dying to use that meme!)

So here’s my shortened WWW Wednesday

Here’s what I’m currently reading:

38769727the_irrationalist_cover

 

 

I recently finished:

37795839-_sy180_Beneath the Same Heaven, by Anne Marie Ruff

So… I became so attached and involved with the characters in this book that when their world fell apart, I actually had to take a break for a while and come back to it when I could handle it.  I’m not sure what that says about my emotional stability, but I do know it says great things about Anne Marie Ruff’s ability to connect her readers with her characters!

 

What I’ll be reading next:

the_sun_king_by_allison_lee_palmer_200 

 

What’s your WWW? Any thoughts on the books above? Leave a comment or send me a message through the Contact Me page.

WWW Wednesday -July 18, 2018

img_1384-0Happy Wednesday everyone!

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words.  I’ve been doing it for a few weeks now and it’s a lot of fun sharing what all I’m currently reading and visiting the other participant blogs to find more to add to my TBR pile!!!

Don’t know what it is or how to participate??? All you need to do is answer the following three questions and link back to Taking on a World of Words, or you can put your answers in the comments on her blog!

The three WWW questions are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Without further ado…

Here’s what I’m currently reading:

 

37795839-_sy180_Beneath the Same Heaven, by Anne Marie Ruff

So… I became so attached and involved with the characters in this book that when their world fell apart, I actually had to take a break for a while and come back to it when I could handle it.  I’m not sure what that says about my emotional stability, but I do know it says great things about Anne Marie Ruff’s ability to connect her readers with her characters!

 

I recently finished:

38749523

Priceless, by Jen Barrick

My daughter and I were going through Priceless together. She’s been gone most of the summer and so it was pretty slow going, and I ended up finishing the remainder without her, although we’ll still be finishing it up when she gets back from the beach! I’ll have my review up soon!

 

cover132474-medium

Mystic Dragon, by Jason Denzel

I really loved reading this! I didn’t know it was the second in the series until I visited the Goodreads page, so that was a bit of a bummer… I can’t believe I missed out on the first one! (Don’t worry, it’s been added to my TBR). I’ll be posting a review soon!

 

 

What I’ll be reading next:

the_irrationalist_cover the_sun_king_by_allison_lee_palmer_200 38769727

 

What’s your WWW? Any thoughts on the books above? Leave a comment or send me a message through the Contact Me page.

WWW Wednesday -Independence Day 2018 Edition

Happy July 4 to all my fellow American bloggers and readers!!!

giphy1

giphy2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

img_1384-0WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words.  I’ve been doing it for a few weeks now and it’s a lot of fun sharing what all I’m currently reading and visiting the other participant blogs to find more to add to my TBR pile!!!

Don’t know what it is or how to participate… All you need to do is answer the following three questions and link back to Taking on a World of Words, or you can put your answers in the comments on her blog!

The three WWW questions are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Without further ado…

Here’s what I’m currently reading:

38749523

Priceless, by Jen Barrick

I’ve been going through Priceless: Who I am When I feel… with my daughter and I’m still not quite sure how I feel about it. She is currently at her father’s house and was in Europe hopping about for a couple weeks before that so I’m reserving further opinion until I’ve been able to read more into it with her. As I’ve said in previous weeks, I love the idea behind this devotional and my daughter seems to be enjoying it. The problem may just be that it’s geared toward her age and understanding/dealing with the MANY emotions that come with being a teenage girl and holding those emotions and feelings up to God’s truths.  Maybe I just need to tap back into those emotions in order to get more out of it?

 

37795839-_sy180_Beneath the Same Heaven, by Anne Marie Ruff

I wasn’t able to get much reading done on this one lately, I’m sorry to say.  I am definitely still enjoying Beneath the Same Heaven, it just didn’t make the top of the list this week as I tried to play catch up from last week’s sick household shutdown. I’ll have more to say about it next week, I’m sure!

 

I recently finished:

small Truth Seer coverTruth Seer, by Kay L. Moody

I am really enjoying Truth Seer!  I flew through the first 100 pages…no small feat when you’re caring for 6 month old twins, a two-year old, and a recent high school graduate, all while worrying about your 13 year old daughter that’s currently hopping about Europe! I can already tell I’ll be reading the entire series! You can read my review of Truth Seer here.

 

 

22914448-_sx120_The Dead Key, by D.M. Pulley

I picked up The Dead Key at the West Virginia Writer’s Conference earlier this month.  It’s a fast paced mystery novel that I really had a hard time putting down at night! For me, mysteries/suspense stories are either love it or hate it, with no in between, and this one is firmly in the love it category! I’ll have a review up for it soon!

 

 

What I’ll be reading next:

the_irrationalist_cover the_sun_king_by_allison_lee_palmer_200 cover132474-medium

As you can tell, it’s been a crazy slow couple of reading weeks for me! It feels a little strange, but I guess you’ll have that.

What’s your WWW? Any thoughts on the books above? Leave a comment or send me a message through the Contact Me page.