Joe & Annie's Eclectic Book Club - June - "The Watch"
Following a desperate night-long battle, a group of beleaguered soldiers in an isolated base in Kandahar are faced with a lone woman demanding the return of her brother’s body. Is she a spy, a black widow, a lunatic? Or is she what she claims to be: a grieving young sister intent on burying her brother according to local rites? Single-minded in her mission, she refuses to move from her spot on the field in full view of every soldier in the stark outpost. Her presence quickly proves dangerous as the camp’s tense, claustrophobic atmosphere comes to a boil when the men begin arguing about what to do next.
Told from various points of view, including those of the U.S. soldiers, Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya’s heartbreaking and haunting novel takes a timeless tragedy and hurls it into present-day Afghanistan. Taking its cues from the Antigone myth, Roy-Bhattacharya recreates the chaos, intensity, and immediacy of battle, and conveys the inevitable repercussions felt by the soldiers, and their families, and especially one sister. The result is the most powerful expression to date of the nature and futility of war.
The first in an ambitious cycle of novels set in the Islamic world, "The Storyteller of Marrakesh" is an elegant exploration of the nature of reality and our shifting perceptions of truth.