Long Walk to Freedom is definitely a good primer for someone who wants to know more about Mandela’s life before, during, and a little bit after his prison time. It’s a good overview in particular of how South Africa’s police, judicial, and political system treated him, and of the actual timeline of his life. And it’s a particularly interesting read when he talks about how his life was inside prison and how, from his perspective, his release came about.
It took me a while to get around to finally reading The Silent Minaret, and I have to admit that it was a difficult read. For one, it was difficult because of the style of the narration itself. The point of view for the narration changes, and it sort of Danvers around the character of Issa; the reader never really gets to know him through his own voice. That’s the great mystery of the book – where is Issa and what happened? but it still makes it feel a bit confusing, and possibly a bit contrived.