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Book Review: House of Savera by Ashraf Jafri

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House of Savera by Ashraf Jafri is a book that I truly looked forward to reading, and wanted to like it, yet failed in doing so. The ideas outlined in its summary are extremely interesting: international weddings in three different countries and three different cultures, medical research and the need for more of it, as well as human and animal communication and understanding. It all sounded so appealing to me.

And then I started to read and struggled from the very start. I immediately noticed complete lack of proofreading and editing, which seems to be rather a rule with most of the self-published books. While a few oversights are probably unavoidable, there were so many of them that they made certain segments practically unreadable. When one adds to this a plethora of completely irrelevant, minute details, the story gets hopelessly bogged down.

Here is a randomly picked paragraph, exactly as it appears in the book:

“Karl wanted chocolate milk, so his mother asked Neeta, the kitchen maid, to warm the milk in a copper pot that was tinned to avoid copper poisoning. Neeta took out a chocolate pouch and emptied it in the pot. Krista asked her to keep a watch take the milk off the heat as soon as it began to boil, fill the ceramic mug, and bring it to the table. Neeta brought the chocolate milk, placed it in front of Karl, and warned him that the milk was hot. Karl took his toast, which his mother had prepared as way he liked it, and dunked it in the hot chocolate. He ate it with pleasure. Soon, his eyes started to bother him, and he noticed there were flies around. Neeta had a small fan in her hand and tried to shoo away the flies from Karl’s face. Karl used a handkerchief to remove the water or tears running down his cheek. He was getting tired, so he went to his mosquito-draped bed and hid his face and eyes with a pillow.”

So many words, yet I have no clue how that chocolate tasted, nor how Karl liked his toast…

I do want to applaud the author for having the courage to write something that seems to be deeply rooted in his life experiences, but sometimes putting everything that one has learned in a long and rich life can result in a confusing and convoluted story. Oftentimes less is more, and as with many other things in life it could be very helpful to seek advice from professionals in the field, and not simply from friends and family. Using a competent editor could have made House of Savera much better, and I would encourage Mr. Jafri to keep writing, but also to avail himself to such services. His messages are important, so I wish that many people would read them, yet I fail to see an average reader being tenacious enough to actually finish this book.

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About Maria Juliana Leal-Belloso