In Our Other Lives

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 17 Mar 2020

Member Reviews

Received an advanced copy of this book, not knowing what to expect. 

And I was surprised, in a good way. I quickly got sucked into the story, which reads as a true account of events. I had to keep reminding myself that is was a novel. 

Thank you #Netgalley #inourotherlives
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Little A and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This book left me feeling unsettled.  On the surface, you think, or rather are told, it's a story about a young, naive American evangelical proselytizer who disappears in Pakistan/Afghanistan and then suddenly reappears in an Islamic propaganda video, and the federal investigation that ensues.. But really, it's a story about the young man's sister, and how she deals with a series of shattering blows and events in her life. The story unfolds through the recounting of surveillance and interview data collected by a federal agent, who tries to unravel the connections between the brother and sister, the sister and her husband, the siblings and their parents. What emerges is a portrait of a strong, stoic woman who has had to learn to get on with her life, regardless of her circumstances. Some of the elements didn't gel for me, particularly in terms of the surveillance of private citizens - but then again, what do I know?
Was this review helpful?
Arranged in a series of files, this book is centered on Elisabeth Ahls and her extraordinary journey through grief as those close to her leave in one way or another.  One of those would be her brother Tyler who, after being thought dead while hiking in Pakistan,  has surfaced in a video that may or may not denote a terrorist connection.  The story is of today, and the concept, original, with a federal agent keeping close tabs on everyone yet becoming a participant himself.  There is much that is enigmatic about this book, but some of it didn't hold true for me, and while I enjoyed it, I was aware of its flaws.
Was this review helpful?