The Doctor of Aleppo by Dan Mayland
American aid worker, Hannah works in Aleppo doing community development. But when the Syrian civil war breaks out, she is quickly drawn into defending the city and country she’s grown to love. Will she stay, flee to nearby Turkey, or return home to the United States?
Sami Hasan is a respected surgeon, dedicated to his profession and his country. He works days on end, mending bones of anyone who arrives in the M2 hospital. But wartime means everyone has to look over their shoulder – anyone could turn you in for perceived betrayal.
In a twist of fate, Sami treats Hannah’s boyfriend early on in the war, and years later the two are thrown together in the chaos of a city divided. They’re both targets of a secret police officer, Rahim, who believes they’ve individually committed crimes. So, when Rahim finds the pair working together, his rage and conviction are further solidified.
I am really into this. Intense in a good way, The Doctor of Aleppo is not for the faint of heart. This is a story of fighting for what you believe and searching for meaning. At the same time, we see how all-consuming revenge and our own beliefs can become. The Syrian war is too near to our collective consciousness to feel like historical fiction, and yet it is. The Doctor of Aleppo by Dan Mayland is thought-provoking and heart-wrenching. Dan Mayland navigates us through the turmoil and difficult choices that must be made in times of great conflict.
￼Dan Mayland is the author of the Mark Sava spy series and The Doctor of Aleppo, novels informed by his long love of history and experiences in the Caspian Region and Middle East. While Azerbaijan was a particular focus beginning in 2005, Mayland also conducted research in Iran prior to the 2009 uprising, in Bahrain shortly after the eruption of the Arab Spring, in Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge in 2013, on the Turkey-Syria border after the fall of Aleppo, and more recently in refugee camps on the island of Lesbos, Greece. In these places and others, Mayland has interviewed diplomats, spies, doctors, protestors, aid workers, refugees, and anyone else who will talk to him.
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