Saturday, 17 March 2018

Full Circle by Regina Timothy

Full Circle by Regina Timothy
Self published in December 2017.

One of my 2018 IndieAthon Reads and my 2018 Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge reads. Featured in WorldReads: Kenya

Where to buy this book:

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the author

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Eight years after the 9/11 attacks, Samia-Al-Sayyid an Iraqi immigrant is living a quiet life in New York City after she fled her home to avoid imminent death.

She works hard for her cold, heartless, high-strung boss, loves her seventeen-year-old-son, and cherishes the close friendship she has formed with her best friend Susan.

Nothing can go wrong, or so she thinks – until the estranged brother she left back in Iraq shows up on her door step. Then she finds herself in a cab, on her way to the hospital to identify her son, a terror suspect who has blown the city, and with it her boss’ husband, and her best friend’s son. With everything lost, she is forced to flee to Iraq where she confronts her past. Will she make peace with her past? Can she get forgiveness for all the damage she has caused?

Full Circle is a contemporary fiction tale of friendship, family, and hope. It explores the devastation of loss, the great capacity to forgive and the lengths our loved ones will go to protect us.

Full Circle is quite an emotional rollercoaster of a novel. It tackles strong themes including sexual assault, racial intolerance, terrorism, the experiences of soldiers returning home, single parenthood, bullying, and the social alienation of teenagers. I did at times wonder whether so much misfortune could believably befall a relatively small cast of characters, although in this story some events have a depressing inevitability as they follow one after another. We can see where the characters are headed and, as readers, are powerless to change their fate.

Samia has turned herself from a powerless child in Iraq to a strong woman in America. She works dead-end jobs to get by, but has provided opportunities for her son who is preparing to start at university. I liked Samia. She doesn't expect great things from life, but works hard and has a serene sense of dignity about her which I admired. I wasn't so convinced by her boss, Melisa, who didn't always come across as a fully rounded character, or by Melisa's PA, Susan, who occasionally behaves as though she is Melisa!

Full Circle has good ideas and I liked the overall narrative. There are issues with pace. Sometimes we jump in time for no apparent reason while other scenes overstay their welcome. Also a lot of the dialogue felt overly formal to me. However, looking past these problems, I think Timothy has interesting things to say through her characters and I predominantly enjoyed reading this book.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Regina Timothy / Contemporary fiction / Books from Kenya


  1. Aw no, I'm sorry the pacing sucked -- it's kind of something that makes or breaks a book for me -- and this one sounds like it takes on some powerful themes.

    1. Yes, the underlying story is good and I thought the book just needed a stronger edit to really polish it