The one major positive thing that I can say for this book is that it’s well-written. It’s well-researched, well-planned out, and makes a very large effort to be well-balanced.
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.
I found most of these essays to be interesting and compelling, even teaching me more about Layton’s political and personal career than I had ever known about before.
For at least the last 5 years, I’ve wanted to learn more about Harvey Milk. I was born after he died, and I lived in small, rural (and conservative) town in Canada, so I hadn’t heard about him at all until I was an adult. And even then, I only heard his name in passing – even within the queer community. But I heard it just often enough to be curious, and wanted to learn more … though it’s taken me quite a while to actually get around to doing so.
Picking up this book and listening was sort of like being able to listen to Bhutto’s voice from beyond the grave. Reconciliation touches on issues and events that were taking place right up until the month or two before her death. It really was timely and, I think, very necessary for people to be able to really understand what she stood for.