Saturday, December 17, 2011
Behind the Veils of Yemen - Book Review
Review: This book chronicles some of the time Audra Grace Shelby spent with her family in Yemen. She opens by discussing the difficult journey to the mission field, one that included a life-threatening illness for her husband. It moves into stories from their first weeks/months in Yemen. She chronicles how she built relationships with the women in her community, most importantly, Fatima, her Arabic tutor. Shelby details how these relationships continue to be built by detailing some of her encounters with the Muslim women and their personal, probing questions of her life. I could feel Shelby’s awkwardness in some of the situations she described. I loved the honesty Shelby portrayed throughout this book. She was honest about her struggles – with the culture, the heat and the inconveniences present when working in a developing country. She is also refreshingly honest in her conversations with God outlining her questions and doubts. These conversations happen repeatedly throughout the book, often accompanied by the lesson God has shown her. I really enjoyed this book and it was a remarkably quick read. The storytelling style in this book made me want to keep reading. My only lingering question is what happened after they returned to Yemen after the birth of their fourth child. The follow-up at the end doesn’t really address that and I was left wondering what happened to Fatima, did the seeds of the gospel ever see harvest? I felt the book was missing a couple of chapters. Even with that, I recommend this book to anyone interested in missions, life in the Middle East or both.
Baker Publishing gave me a copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.