It seems such an unlikely story: an ordinary British civilian advising the leadership of the US military in Iraq. Not at all what humanitarian worker Emma Sky was expecting when she travelled to Iraq in 2003 for a three-month stint helping out with post-war reconstruction. More than a decade later she had chocked up experience governing a province and then acting as a political advisor to American generals.
Tempered with self-effacing humour, this memoir from a woman with impressive credentials and a unique perspective, provides a detailed and balanced account of the American war in Iraq, and the men and women on all sides, who did their best for the country. [Small font]
Important insight on real world issues.
A remarkable woman with a remarkable story, but the group felt it should have been heavily edited. We also found the Middle Eastern names hard to recognise when they were repeated. Some members kept the book until the deadline to read some more detail. Others lost interest towards the end.
Very meaty, enriching and educational.
Heavy going but well worth it. Small print difficult. Great discussion.
Only a few members finished it. All agreed that it was interesting and well-written. Very long - editing would have been better.
Some could not read the small print, but those who read it enjoyed the book for its insight into the politics of Iraq since the invasion. Well-written, humorous and interesting.
While this book gave us some insight into the complexities of the Iraqi world, and America's role in trying to unite the various factions, we found Emma Sky's account more like a series of reports. The book lacked character and any highs and lows. We also wondered if Emma really did achieve all the interaction she claimed. Only 4 members read the whole book. We thought the notes were good.
This was full of information that aided our understanding of the Iraq situation. It was heavy going and full of acronyms, and the author not likeable. We gained a greater understanding of her after listening to /watching the podcast from the 2016 Writer's Festival interview, and reader admiration developed.