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First off, thank you to Melanie Fraser of Fraser’s Fun House for allowing me to be a part of this Blog Blitz!
A beautiful and eclectic mix of stories and poetry, as presented by new and exciting author Rahf AlRashidi. This collection of insights into the author’s soul takes the reader on a melancholy journey of loss, heartache and ill treatment, whilst at once telling the story of strength and showing the joy to be found in the aftermath of sorrow. An inspirational read for women across the world.
I’ll admit right now that The Clouds Beyond Us fits in a genre I have never really read before. A combination of short stories and poetry, Rahf AlRashidi’s book is a reflective, creative, and memoir-style book that takes the reader through a journey of adoration, fear, and heartbreak.
Because the genre and style are one I’m somewhat unfamiliar with I was unsure what to expect when I started reading The Clouds Beyond Us. It only took a few pages and I was completely hooked, ready to sink my teeth into Rahf AlRashidi’s story and neglect the outside world for a little while, instead allowing myself to be fully taken in by her words. AlRashidi’s writing style is an interesting one which is influenced both by her creative and medical sides – a lovely combination of both a dreamer and a realist. Poetic concepts are intertwined with medical terminology that makes for a unique read.
The focus of the book is on AlRashidi’s personal relationship with her partner, from the rush of love at the beginning to the breakdown at the end. Even if the audience won’t all be able to relate to the issues within the relationship it’s easy for most to relate to the concept, and the author puts across her feelings and experiences in such a simple yet captivating way. Each story and poem is filled with emotion, and is a beautiful glimpse into the struggles that AlRashidi has been through. I came away from the book feeling like I knew her in a way.
Despite focusing on quite a heavy topic at times the book ends on a hopeful note, and I didn’t at any point feel weighed down by emotions. Each chapter is short and to the point, making it easy to reflect on what you’ve just read before turning the page. I came away from AlRashidi’s writing feeling positive and inspired, and it helped me to think back to my own past in a creative way again – something I’ve lost touch with since the present life has taken over. This sort of book is perfect for anyone who wants something a bit more introspective and considered, and I think it’s an important read for anyone who may also be struggling within their relationship – to experience similar experiences through someone else’s eyes can sometimes be the thing that opens your own.
The book isn’t just focused on the main subject as AlRashidi explores other aspects of her life as well, such as her family and her studies. She includes a myriad of quotes from recognised figures and other literature which enhance what she says through her own words. I particularly liked how the book was structured in this regard – it’s mostly in order of events but it’s not linear as such as the chapters jump between topics to build up more than just a story. Although some of them link heavily others don’t, which makes it the sort of books that’s easy to pick up, put down, and pick back up again – something I like in a book considering I often read during my commute! I actually found myself reading the entire thing in two sittings because of how easy it is to get into, so be warned you may miss your train stop like I nearly did!
If you’d like to purchase The Clouds Beyond Us then you can do so at the following links:
Rahf AlRashidi is a multi-genre author of short stories and poetry. A medical student from Kuwait, she currently lives abroad to pursue her medical degree. She first began writing short stories at the age of nine, when she lived in Texas, USA. In 2009, the journey towards her dreams began, with writing becoming a part of her life after showcasing her talents as an artist and writer in the District PTA contest in Denton, going on to win first place.
Her mother, a psychologist and an author, has always been and continues to be her source of inspiration and her faithful guide.
Rahf is currently working on her next book.
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