Book review of ”Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes” by Guzel Yakhina

Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes by Guzel Yakhina - book review

My book review of ”Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes” by Guzel Yakhina emphasis how Zuleikha’s life turns upside down when she is brought far away from her homeland into a Gulag. Have you ever imagined that life in a Gulag in Siberia can be much better than in your own home? Sounds unimaginable, but continue to read my book review of ”Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes” by Guzel Yakhina, one of the best contemporary novels I’ve read so far.

Book review of ”Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes” by Guzel Yakhina

Zuleikha, a young Tatar, Muslim, illiterate woman lives with her husband, 30 years older man than her, together with her evil mother-in-law. Every day, she endures their severe attitude and regular punishments. Even though, she thinks everything that happens to her is normal and that she is lucky enough to get married and to have food to eat.

One of a sudden, the communists come to her village and put her on a train together with other people. Unfortunately, she doesn’t speak Russian and barely understands the situation around.

Nevertheless, the people on the train become her new home and her new family. All of them end up in Siberia where they have to re-start their lives again and build up a new Gulag.

For Zuleikha, that’s where it all began – she becomes a mother and for the first time the baby does not die shortly after the delivery. Also, she fells in love and her feelings are mutual. Not only but also, she feeds the village, she goes hunting, she becomes a nurse and helps people to survive the severe weather conditions. In a word, she lives, she breathes…….and finally Zuleikha opens her eyes and sees life’s beauty!

Main values in the book

”Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes” by Guzel Yakhina is a novel about identity, religion, family values, conservatism, respect, love, political regime, education, character, skills and human nature. Above all, it’s a love story in a time of starvation and deprivation.

Russian Series based on the novel

There is a series based on the novel worth watching in Russian: ”Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes” by Guzel Yakhina

Did you appreciate my book review of ”Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes” by Guzel Yakhina? Read the book and you won’t regret it!

Thanks for reading!