Foreword Reviews

The Insignificant Girl

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

The Insignificant Girl is a thriller led by a diplomatic woman who seeks freedom from social deceits and sexual oppression.

In Tom Fitzgerald’s action-oriented thriller The Insignificant Girl, a slighted woman rises against hypocrisy and oppression.

Myk and his girlfriend are attacked at a ski resort; his girlfriend leaves soon after. Myk then investigates a terrorist bombing involving his uncle Levi, a former Mossad agent. His work leads him to an Iranian terrorist and religious fundamentalist, Jaafar, whose daughter Raji was caught in a bomb blast staged by Levi.

Despite Myk’s and Levi’s presence throughout the book, it’s Raji who commands the story most and whose own tale dictates its directions. Raji, a world traveler and a newscaster, is a direct, outspoken woman who is clear about her distaste toward misogynistic social constrictions, religious fundamentalism, and political schemes. Privileged with personal freedoms and knowledge, she works to inform the public about world issues. On air, she takes on Iranian officials for hiding truths, like the statistics around those killed by COVID-19 in the nation. She faces censorship, earning her fans from across the political spectrum.

Flashbacks to Raji’s past relationships speak to her insecurities in the present. Raji’s husband Ali shuns her in bed, including on their honeymoon. Her father used her and her son in his nationalistic plots, for which she desires revenge. Her gradual development is intercut with Myk’s investigation into such nationalistic agendas; he uncovers family and government connections to nationalism, tying the present to Nazi Germany, American imperialism, and communist China and resulting in acts of karmic violence.

Throughout the book, the theme of political deceit and nationalistic scheming is pervasive, and people’s backgrounds and motivations are a central source of intrigue. Further, no political party, country, or ideology is presented as the clear answer to such issues. Individuals like Raji and Myk are positioned to enact righteous justice against oppressive people and structures. Regardless, a sense of American exceptionalism also prevails: Raji, though she’s stalwart and independent, accepts Myk and an American woman whom she befriends without hesitation. She commends the West’s technological advancements and feminist viewpoints, contrasting these with acts of terrorism in Muslim-majority nations. She ends up being limited by her anger toward Iran and her disconnection from other Iranian women. Elsewhere, a closeted gay man hides from persecution behind the false appearance of fundamentalism, and Myk decides that one’s chosen family matters most. Previously fundamentalist peoples’ changes of heart are unpredictable but gratifying, resulting in smooth solutions within the book’s action sequences.

The Insignificant Girl is a thriller led by a diplomatic woman who seeks freedom from social deceits and sexual oppression.

Reviewed by Aleena Ortiz

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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