Click Here To Purchase Ruptured

Author: Tarek Refaat

Publisher: Shabab Books: New madda -Cairo - Egypt

ISBN: 978-689-215-21-87

Ruptured is a very short straight to the point novel about a young professional woman, Farida, trying to recover from the trauma of rape. The recovery is made more difficult in that she charged her rapist so the case went to trial and attracted the public's attention. The rapist goes to jail but the public continues to judge the victim.  She needs a lot of time before returning to her job as a magazine writer and editor where a ruthlessly ambitious younger woman, Gihan, seeks to "bring her down" in order to take over her spot in the magazine hierarchy, a spot she had hoped to get earlier in the wake of Farida's misfortune. 

The author, a young man of impressive insight and empathy prefaces the novel this way:

"Being a person who tends to analyze my surroundings has been a source of inspiration for my writings throughout my life. Despite my relatively young age, I have managed to grasp several experiences and witness many others.  It is why I decided to write this story."

Throughout my reading of this book I thought that, had I not known otherwise, I would have thought the author was a woman who had herself experienced the trauma of rape. I found myself very impressed with the author's ability to get into Farida's heart and mind. He also paints a credible and painful portrait of a society that blames the victim in these cases.  As he points out in the Introduction:

"In Middle Eastern society, a woman who has suffered such a horrible experience as rape is condemned in the eyes and words of the community. People never cease talking about her or wondering if she was the cause of the incident and, even if not, they regard her as "used goods" or an "expired product" who should be satisfied with whatever comes her way even if this means getting married to someone who doesn't suit her or care about her. The pressure the victim undergoes is tremendous."

The author uses the articles Farida writes on a blog to follow the ups and downs of her recovery:

"Then on my way home I decided to drive down the road where it happened, where I was raped.  Raped the word that changed my life, personally, socially and in every way. Everything in my life has changed because of this five letter word.  But it is not just a word. It was hell in less than an hour.  I came back home feeling as if I was going to die. My heart was racing. My head was pounding. Nothing was in the right place. But I made it. I got through it. I think I am starting to face myself bit by bit."

After he makes the reader care deeply about Farida the author sets her into a plot involving characters that are both archtypal in their representations of good and evil and realistic with their  idiosyncratic voices and mannerisms. Some of the actions in the last part of the book seem unlikely and unrealistic like in an action film or comic book but they are entertaining and lead to a happy ending. It is as if the author has at some point moved from writing a novel based on total reality to writing a tall tale intended to entertain and vindicate. Karam, the sensitive and kind psychiatrist becomes the powerful "knight in shining armor" that Farida needs and deserves and he represents the goodness and justness I suspect this author would like to see everywhere in the society around him. The transition is a little sudden but left me wanting to cheer out loud for characters I had come to love. I highly recommend this artful & insightful novel that espouses and celebrates good values. 

Click Here To Purchase Ruptured