How does a conservative and naive girl from Iraq fall in love with a very busy businessman in America? Could they settle their differences and meet halfway? Can their love conquer it all?
They were from two different worlds, and this was apparent from the first day they met. Willam struck Ishtar as another arrogant, insensitive bachelor who's always busy flirting with girls, while Ishtar proved to be a challenge for William.
Ishtar is an independent, strong-willed, and diligent woman living with her mother and sister in America. She holds on to the beliefs and culture that their mother taught them as she struggles to provide for her family and her mother's medication. She took three jobs to pay the bills, and on her night job at the bar, she met Willam, a handsome, young businessman who built his career from scratch. William is a serious and faithful man and was intrigued with Ishtar, so he pursued her and was amazed by her compelling character. They continue to uncover their differences as they fell deeply in love with each other.
Maria, Ishtar's best friend, would always look after her is almost a sister to her. She has guided Ishtar as she explores the things she needed to know about love. Her advice for Ishtar on relationship and marriage helped her understand love and her feelings for William.
As Ishtar and William face issues in their relationship, they grow stronger as their destinies intertwine. They broke-up and only made their connection stronger as they realized that they could not live their life separate from each other.
The novel showed us the different chapters of relationships. From dating to being engaged, couples face a different dilemma, and it could either make or break your relationship.
One lesson that stuck with me was from Maria, who said that having a television set in a couple's bedroom is not suitable for a relationship because you will not have time to talk and listen. Communication is important, and we have to make an extra effort now that we are in the age of modern technology. We could be sucked in, and we won't be aware of the things happening around us.
As tragedy befalls their romance, Ishtar went through grief phases; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, and it was devastating. She found the perfect guy for her, her destiny, the love of her life, only to be taken away in just a snap.
Ruwaida Abd, the author of Ishtar, was born and raised in Iraq and wrote her novel after witnessing the World Trade Center attacks. She imagined the lives that will be changed forever, the hopes and dreams that were shattered during the tower's collapse.
The novel proves to us the things that we can do, the things we are willing to change, the beliefs we are willing to let go of, the lengths we are willing to take for the one we love. No relationship is perfect, but everything would fall into place as long as you are willing to listen, understand and make room for compromise, and always cherish the people we love because we won't know until when we will have them.