Foreword Reviews

Starred Review:

Hakim’s Odyssey

Book 2: From Turkey to Greece

A Syrian refugee experiences financial difficulties, family separation and loss, and a dangerous sea crossing in this second volume of Hakim’s Odyssey.

Forced to flee Syria, Hakim now lives in Turkey with his wife, Najmeh, and his in-laws. He has a son, Hadi. But the employment situation is bleak, and Najmeh’s father decides to buy a fake passport and go to France. Once he’s settled, he sends for his wife and daughter; Hakim remains in Turkey with Hadi. The separation is meant to be short, but unexpected problems stymie Hakim and Hadi’s hopes for a reunion with their family. They’re forced to make a frightening, illegal boat crossing into Greece.

Hakim’s arrival in Turkey is summarized in three pages of expert, condensed storytelling. The succinct writing also conveys the details of Hakim’s plight in Turkey: caring for his young son alone, learning about the death of his father, and the hazards of dealing with smugglers. The book captures Hakim’s emotional turmoil and doubts through visuals that are both dynamic and subtle, as when, in successive panels, he pounds his mattress in frustration before curling up on the bed in despair.

Hakim is an everyman, but he also cuts a heroic figure, displaying intelligence and resilience. This second volume of Hakim’s Odyssey is an incredible story about maintaining hope despite facing overwhelming odds.

Reviewed by Peter Dabbene

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Load Next Review