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Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
"Full Circle" by Saul Silas Fathi is a remarkable book about a prominent Iraqi Jewish family. It takes place during World War II when Nazi propaganda and policy threatened the lives of all Jewish citizens, many of whom were forced to take drastic measures in order to survive. The Fathi parents elected to smuggle two of their sons to Israel in an attempt to save some of the family from persecution and potentially, death. For a time, the two boys lived in a Kibbutz. They remained there until a reunion with their family.
The life of the author was punctuated by the wanderlust and fantasies of a life of freedom and adventure. As a young man, he left Israel to seek his fortunes in Brazil and this, in turn, led him to obtain a student visa allowing him to enter the United States. Having no money and no means of earning it, he joined the military and was stationed in Korea where he learned many life lessons about poverty, power, prejudice and the trials and tribulations of maturing to adulthood. Even with an education and good working conditions, Mr. Fathi struggled to understand a world which seemed both cruel and kind, depriving and generous and his search for meaning in life continued to the end of his story when he had buried both of his parents.
The author tells his story simply and honestly and this is the great appeal of the tale. Historical events are described in detail, both as they were observed and as they were experienced by the author. This book could be a point of education for thousands of people in this country alone.