Eine Hand Voller Sterne -Storyline and Review

Eine hand Voller Sterne

Eine Hand Voller Sterne

The cover page

Year of release: 1987

Author: Rafik Schami

Language: German 

Reading Age: 14 – 17 years

 ‘Eine hand Voller Sterne’ is a book written in the form of a series of diary entries made over many years, by a teenage boy, during his days in Syria. This ambitious young teenager, who, despite being born in a lower-middle-class family with uneducated parents, aspires to be a journalist. He chronicles his life, and his experiences with people around him – his family, his friends, and many others who, in one way or the other, shape his life, and the changing political scene in the country. 

With a wish to preserve all his life’s experiences, the young boy starts making diary entries. He keeps it a secret and away from everyone so that he can openly pour out his thoughts and ideas that he wants to reserve just for himself.  

Through these diary entries, he talks about :

His friends and his various escapades with them. The many good and bad experiences they have together in school and later during their work life. He writes how over time, they develop a beautiful bond of trust and friendship. 

His father and his bakery where he has to work sometimes and how he hates doing that work. The son-father duo often ends up having differences in opinion leading to arguments. The negative feelings that he develops against his father during his teenage slowly iron out as he grows. Later in life, he does end up appreciating and being one with him.

His mother-who, despite being uneducated, has a great influence on his life. She is a shield between him and his father and doesn’t allow their egos to come between their relationship. She is the one who ties the family together. She is a confidant and friend from whom he receives love, affection, support, and of course, occasional scoldings and corrections.

Nadia – the girl he loves and wants to spend his life with. Being with her makes him feel loved and secure. She is a constant source of joy and happiness and hope for a beautiful future.

Uncle Salim- who, despite being much older than him, is considered a friend by him. Uncle Salim’s stories and wise words influence the young boy. At every stage of life, the impact of uncle Salim’s insightful words and advice, his assertion of his love and affection for the boy, and his prudence leave an everlasting mark on the boy’s mind.  

 There are a few more characters, like a strange-looking guy who roams around the streets- who is wiser than what one would take him for; his teacher -Katib, who is very supportive of his education and goes out of his way to help him get his poems published; and Habib- a journalist and eventually his role model – who helps the boy believe in his dream of becoming a journalist and put it into action.

The diary entries have quite a few funny incidents in his life as he goes about attending school, working at the bakery, and as an intern at a carpentry shop. It also includes his thoughts about the various people he comes across. It makes the reader understand how different people in our lives, good or bad, help us grow and mature and eventually become wiser. The innovative and interesting things that the boy and his friends come up with in their life – whether it is to earn money, solve everyday problems, or achieve their goals, are quite intriguing and make one appreciate that a wish and the will to fulfill the wish is all that one needs to make things happen! Through his writings, he also highlights the changing political scene in the country, the military coup, and how it influences the life of common people. 

 This journey of a baker’s son, wanting to bring the truth to the world through his work; his ambition, courage, and determination in the face of danger is indeed inspiring. A very interesting read certainly a page-turner.  

To know about more such exciting books, click here.

 

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