Guns and Almond Milk | By Mustafa Marwan






TheWriteReads Blog Tour | Book Review | Contemporary War fiction

Guns and Almond Milk
Meet Luke Archer, a British Egyptian doctor who struggles to be from two worlds at the same time. He's working in one of the world's most dangerous hospitals in Yemen. When rebel forces take over the city, a group of Western mercenaries take refuge inside the hospital and Luke and his team find themselves in the middle of a deadly clash. To make matters worse, leading the mercenaries is an unwelcome figure from Luke's past. After years saving the lives of others, Luke needs to face the demons of his past in order to save his own.Set in the UK and Yemen, Guns and Almond Milk is a literary thriller that deals with identity, diversity and old coins of arguable value. It's The Sympathizer mixed with M.A.S.H by the way of Ramy.




My thoughts












Narrative and Plot











Guns and Almond Milk as the name suggests is the story of the brutality of proxy war in Yemen through the eyes of a conflict zone doctor from London, Luke Archer. We learn about the war torn Yemen and the different players through his eyes. Luke, who is still struggling to find his own identity because of who he is.

The narrative is induced with dark humor as it talks about the racial and religious discrimination, the injustices of war and the thin line between the oppressor and the oppressed based on the circumstances.














Characters and Conflicts






Luke is a perceptive character which works for us because we get a glimpse of each person in the ensemble cast and how they ended up being a part of the war-zone medical team.

We get Luke’s backstory which neatly ties up with the present day scenario. The story picks up pace right from the beginning as things go from bad to worse and then grave. Musthafa Marwan doesn’t shy away from describing the horros of war and showing the smallest details of  a war torn zone. It is peppered around in little descriptions, like the lack of plumbing when the war is closing in, the dead rat fested with maggots or the dirty white cat surviving in the street.

This story reminded me of Red Birds by Mohammed Hanif which is a satire about the proxy war in Afganisthan. But the difference here is, ofcourse the genre. Guns and Almond milk doesn’t hesitate gettong its hands dirty despite the ever present dark humor.

The only thing to point out is that Luke comes out a bit larger than life with too many strokes of luck. I understand that the whole story is his internal journey where he figures out that life is worth living despite all its flaws, but certain situations where he took charge seemed unrealistic. And even though it was intentional to show the pointlessness of it all, I am someone who gets more disappointed about the unfulfilled purpose of a ring than a cent gone wrong.















Overall, this is a brutal story the needed to be told. As we are discussing this story, there are several wars going on in the world, some lasting months killing thousands of innocents and displacing millions. The outsiders in these zone can at least hope for an evacuation or rescue op. But those who were unfortunate enough to be born in a conflict zone have only their resilience to stay alive and come out on top. On that note, I am ending this.


















About the Author












I received an Ebook from @TheWriteReads in exchange for an honest review. 












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