Independent book review: A Silent Prayer



By Samreen Ahsan

ASilentPrayer

This review is long overdue, but A Silent Prayer is a book that deserves all the attention it has received.

It’s been just over a year since it was published, and in that time, A Silent Prayer has won first prizes at book fairs in Los Angeles, Hollywood and Paris, first prize in the Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards,  and an Honourable Mention at the New York Book Festival.

Deservedly so.

I know I am not the target audience for this book, but like all great novels, it has a universal appeal.

The story

I know from the author’s statements on social media that she hated the bestseller, 50 Shades of Grey. I did, too. And reading A Silent Prayer, I got the distinct feeling that Ahsan thought “Let’s try that thing again.”

So, like so many books out there, it has a similar premise: a very rich man who has determined never to get emotionally involved with his sexual conquests falls head over heels in love, almost against his will.

But that’s where the similarity ends. First, Ahsan is a talented writer with a competent, smooth style. She knows how to draw a reader into the story.

The characters are sympathetic and believable. Adam Gibson is a real estate developer in Toronto, and he’s close to 40 years old. Like Christian Gray, he has an emotional trauma in his past that prevents him from getting emotionally involved with the women he beds.

And Rania Ahmed is as different from Anastasia Steel as could be imagined. She’s smart, professional, religious and independent. She also has some kind of trauma in her past, a trauma that the author slowly unveils through the story.

Then the author has added a mystical, supernatural thread to the story. It picks up in the first chapter, when Adam Gibson finds a staircase leading to a roof access in a building he renovated—and that he does not remember being there before. This is a classic magical element: the mysterious portal.

He follows “magical-sounding” music to another building’s rooftop, opens another door to a spiral passage that leads downward, where a beautiful girl is dancing. “For the first time in my life, I feel my soul is pulling me … toward her.” He follows her in a scene that reads like a dream. When he finally touches her, they look at each other briefly, and then the spell breaks. The music ends, the woman walks away, and even the spiral passage vanishes.

Of course, the woman has an uncanny physical resemblance to the heroine of the story, Rania. Next is the chance encounter between her and Adam, which leads to their inevitable mutual attraction.

But that’s the extent of the love story tropes. Adam and Rania are unique, sympathetic and believable.

SamreenNewAhsan gives their love story a series of obstacles, but a love as powerful and inevitable as gravity pulls them together.

What I liked

  • believable characters
  • writing style
  • professional production values

Drawbacks

The only drawback is that A Silent Prayer does not answer all the questions it raises. It has a beginning, middle and end that tell a complete story—except for resolving the magical element. Was it really Rania that Adam saw dancing in Chapter 1? What is the cause of her nightmares? What is the mystical, shadowy presence in her life?

To find those answers, you have to read the sequel, A Prayer Heeded. I understand that. I’ve done the same thing with my latest book, Army of Worn Soles. But I have to admit, it’s a little frustrating.

Still, I will read the sequel and I promise not to take so long to review it.

5*

To find A Silent Prayer and its sequel, A Prayer Heeded, visit author Samreen Ahsan’s website.

Her books are available in print and e-book format from all Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters Indigo, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, Scribd and Inktera.

About the Author

Comments

  1. Sounds like a good read – probably both since I, too, despise unresolved issues and like Harvey (RIP) I need to know the rest of the story.

  2. Great review Scott! As I read through, I figured there was a sequel to answer all those open-ended questions.

  3. “Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once.” – Stephen King
    So it has a sequel which answers all the secrets and reveals all the mysteries 🙂 The interesting part is…a few reviewers (although loved the book) rated it 3 stars just because it ended with a cliffhanger. I really enjoy these kinds of reviews 🙂 it lets you know how much the reader was engrossed 🙂

    Thank you, Scott!

  4. Interesting book. I am always on the look out for books that step out of the expected and this one sounds like the ticket.

  5. Onisha Ellis says:

    Last night on Twitter, viewers of a popular TV series were so crazed by the season finale of a popular “who done it” show, they were demanding the series be continued in the fall. I

  6. Your review Scott had me add this to my growing “To Be Read” list. I look forward reading it.

  7. Well, now I WANT TO READ IT. OY. When oh when will I find the time!!!?? Great review Scott!