I read in one review this story was similar to Madame Bovary I don t think so Both Emma and Ruth are in marriages in crisis and both have affairs and consider leaving their husbands but that is all the commonality I saw between the two women.Euan and Ruth are newly married with a young daughter He is a minister in Ireland They are both excited about their mission to Bahrain for a few months However, when they arrive in Manama, Bahrain, Ruth learns the true nature of Euan s mission which is to smuggle Bibles into Saudia Arabia She feels betrayed that he lied to her and also could potentially put her life and their daughter s life in danger While he is busy with the local church from early morning to late at night, Ruth must fend for herself She has a few expat friends but has befriended Noor, a Bahraini who is also half English girl who looks after her daughter Noor is a troubled teenage girl which Ruth hasn t discovered until it s too late She also befriends Noor s cousin, Farid, and starts an affair with him Not only is this dangerous to her marriage but is against the laws of Bahrain.Noor wants to be a part of Ruth s family Realizing she won t be, she kidnaps the daughter at the same time Euan is on his smuggling mission Everyone, except Euan, gets involved in finding Noor.During this time Ruth loses her faith in God and the church She struggles to find out what life is supposed to be about Noor, on the other hand, is learning about Christianity and is also finding ways to resolve her troubled past.One interesting tidbit I learned was that the Coalition invaded Iraq on a Muslim holiday, the Changing of the Qilban sp This is the day the Prophet Mohammed required Muslims to pray in the direction of Mecca not in the same direction as the Jews Interesting.Not a bad book Not a lot of action I didn t like the way the kidnapping problem was resolved There were maybe 2 sentences and no details. I had high expectations for this book sadly I was waiting for this book ever since I heard it was set in Bahrain.when I started reading it I was shocked to see what it was all about The story is meaningless and the writer talks about Bahrain as if it was another country It only shows how little she knows about Bahrain and Islam The whole story is about an Irish couple who decide to move to Bahrain for work, but it turns out that the reason they came was to try to introduce people in Saudi Arabia to Christianity And the husband has the mission to take a number of bibles across the border for that purpose They meet a Bahraini family who represents nothing of Bahrain from the way the book is written about them All I can say s that it seems that this author found a map of Bahrain and that s as far as she knows about it A waste of time, Don t bother reading it. A Novel based in Bahrain.I m very torn between 3 or 4 stars on this one On the one hand I love that it s based in Bahrain, a neighbour state to Dubai and a place that I have visited several times I even attempted to visit the Tree of Life but my driver got lost now I m wondering if that was possibly a good thing On the other hand, the book itself seemed somehow lacking and I really didn t take to the constasnt bible references, I think these could put off many readers.Ruth and Euan Armstrong leave Ireland for a year s posting as missionaries in Bahrain They are permitted to guide the Christians within the population but are strictly prohibited from preaching to Muslims Euan launches himself into his work, but Ruth is left behind in the small compound with her two year old daughter, Anna She is not comfortable with many of the residents of the compound, largely because she has discovered that there are ulterior motives to her husband s work that she is sworn to secrecy on and she is afraid that she will let something slip.Teenage Noor is struggling to come to terms with her identity as the half British, half Bahraini, daughter of divorced parents She has recently moved to Bahrain after an incident in her boarding school in UK She speaks to us fluently through her diary and it was impossible not to be moved by her need for Ruth and her daughter Anna.When Ruth meets Noor s cousin, Farid, she gets the chance to visit some interesting parts of the island, but she also causes harself a lot of problems.In none of my visits to Bahrain have I ever experienced the constant winds that the author talked about but I did envy Ruth s opportunity to go behind the scenes into the real island, an otherwise impenetrable mystery.This is worth reading but for its novelty value than as a gripping read. Euan Armstrong takes his young family to Bahrain, ostensibly to undertake missionary work but Euan s wife Ruth begins to question all that she holds dear when she discovers the true nature of that work Meanwhile, teenage Noor Hussain has returned to Bahrain from England to live with her father she has struggled to fit in and is contemplating suicide But then Noor finds new hope in the person of Ruth, just as Ruth is falling for Noor s brother Farid.There are times, particularly towards the beginning, when Caldwell s description feels over egged but The Meeting Point ultimately succeeds because of the elegance with which it portrays its central dynamic Both Ruth and Noor have unrealistic desires which will inevitably lead them to clash the progression of those events is thoroughly credible Caldwell also draws her protagonists deftly there s a nice contrast between the broad strokes of Noor s teenage impulsiveness, and Ruth s measured personality All in all, The Meeting Point is a well wrought novel that s very much worth reading. As someone who has lived in Bahrain for many years, I was pleased that the author had done a reasonable amount of research into what life here is really like But ultimately the plot was thin and the storyline rushed Not too convincing but an enjoyable read nevertheless. The first book I can say that actually annoyed me, as in I literally rolled my eyes while reading it The religious babble was unbearably irritating, and in the end it was little than a pseudo love story about an unhappy housewife, which is clear from the blurb anyway I was hoping the setting in Bahrain would add something deeper Edgier Interesting it didn t Cadwell s other work is great though, this was just a bit of a nothing story for me. I m not sure why I stuck with reading this book A set of horrible, selfish characters..nothing redeeming about this book. I guess I did not like it because I thought it was a little offensive, it draws a wrong distorted picture about families in Bahrain Being from Bahrain made it hard for me to accept the story. In essence, the story of an Irish missionary wife who goes with her husband to Bahrain in 2003 Slowly it develops into an updated version of Madame Bovary that old, old story of a lonely, abandoned wife who falls in love with a younger man and begins an ill fated romance.Ruth Armstrong s husband Euan reveals that he is really in Bahrain to smuggle Bibles into and preach in Saudi Arabia, a dangerous calling that could lead to prison or execution Feeling betrayed, and trapped in her compound of villas with her two year old daughter Anna, Ruth is delighted to strike up a friendship with one of her neighbors, Noor Hussain, a teenage girl who has been sent to live with her father after being expelled from boarding school in England due to a bullying campaign gone wrong Noor s cousin Farid, a handsome nineteen year old boy, offers to show her and Ruth the sights of Bahrain, and Noor gradually feels herself becoming one of the Armstrong family.It sounds like a story that could have ended up quite banal after all, the adultery plot is nothing new, and neither is a troubled character insinuating him or herself into an established family But several things set Caldwell s novel apart, including the well drawn settings the Americanized shopping mall culture of the Bahraini city, as well as Ruth s remembrances of growing up on a dairy farm in Northern Ireland and the surprisingly sensitive portrayal of Christianity, in terms of both conversion and loss of faith.Ruth has a crisis of faith which comes to a head in a climactic scene at the fabled Bahraini Tree of Life by the end of the novel, her heartbreak and disillusionment are muffled behind a determination to see ordinary life as in some way sacramental living itself is an act of faithThe act of trying, she sometimes thinks, is belief itselfYou must work at faith It never gets easier but there is a grace, too, in this for she would not want it easier, diminished. When Euan And Ruth Set Off With Their Young Daughter To Live In Bahrain, It Is Meant To Be An Experience And Adventure They Will Cherish But On The Night They Arrive, Ruth Discovers The Truth Behind The Missionary Work Euan Has Planned And Feels Her World Start To Crumble Far From Home, And With Events Spiralling Towards War In Nearby Iraq, She Starts To Question Her Faith In Euan, In Their Marriage And In All She Has Held DearWith Euan So Often Away, She Is Confined To Their Guarded Compound With Her Neighbours And, In Particular, Noor, A Troubled Teenager Recently Returned To Bahrain To Live With Her Father Confronted By Temptations And Doubt, Each Must Make Choices That Could Change All Of Their Lives For Ever Compelling, Passionate And Deeply Resonant, The Meeting Point Is A Novel About Idealism And Innocence, About The Unexpected Turns Life Can Take And The Dangers And Chances That Await Us
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- The Meeting Point
- Lucy Caldwell
- 14 April 2019 Lucy Caldwell