Open My Eyes, That I May See Marvellous Things by Alice Allan

Review published on June 22, 2017.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: When adopted midwife Mariam embarks on a project to protect an abandoned premature baby, she is forced to face her own abandonment years before. Time is running out before the baby is sent to the orphanage. A mysterious character from the city surrounding the hospital will be crucial in determining the baby’s fate, as will a workaholic British doctor with whom Mariam finds herself falling in love.

The depiction of life in the hospital is very well done, including the political aspect whereby life is particularly difficult for female staff.

The author paints a vivid picture of Ethiopia. The reader can taste the coffee, feel the red earth beneath their feet and hear the wind through the eucalyptus trees.

The book is a combination of love stories; the love between midwife and baby, the love between a man and a woman, and the love of a country.

I enjoyed the book and would have no hesitation recommending it to others. It is imaginative, intelligent, warm and engrossing. It is also very moving. The book would make a good choice for a book groups as there is lots to discuss.

This is a debut novel and the author has done a good job. She obviously has great insight into the subject matter. The story is predominantly about attachment, loss and the power of touch.

Dorothy Flaxman 5/5

Open My Eyes, That I May See Marvellous Things by Alice Allan
Pinter & Martin Ltd 9781780663906 pbk Mar 2017

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