She Wrote On Clay by Shirley Graetz [A Book Review]

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Book Review

At first, the novel felt strange but as I continued reading, I realized that because the storyline was new to me I felt hesitant. I cannot remember ever reading about gagû or naditu before. At the end, I appreciate the author’s effort to keep reader’s interest in that aspect of the Ancient East. Mission accomplished because I am very much inspired to read more on naditu. In addition, the information provided at the end of the novel connects the story to the History of Ancient East to law writing and gagû.  Maybe you should read the author’s notes first if you feel that Ancient East historical fiction will suck you in and lost you. However, you do not have to, if you feel it may act like a spoiler for the story. Although, I had a problem remembering the names of certain characters (because they were in an unfamiliar language), the events within the plot flowed. I was not confused about the life of a naditu because the author did a good job in explaining.

Furthermore, I like the character development in Iltani (lead woman), her journey becoming a naditu reads like a young woman entering a world independent of marriage. It reads like the little I know about women and marriage in that time period. I love the budding friendship that Iltani developed and that she gets challenges in her quest to succeed. I love how the author introduces the romance between Iltani and Marduk-musallim; it was a gentle budding love one suiting a woman so involved in the gagû. The ending of the story left some unanswered questions and it hints at a second novel.

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