Thursday, November 10, 2011

Behind the Veils of Yemen by Audra Grace Shelby

Subtitle: How an American Woman Risked Her Life, Family, and Faith to Bring Jesus to Muslim Women, Chosen Books (Baker Publishing Group).

I chose to review this book because I found the cover so striking. It epitomizes the life of the Muslim woman, showing nothing to the world except the eyes. Behind the veils, though, are wives, mothers, and daughters abused and undervalued by their culture.

Audra Grace Shelby and her husband were missionaries to Yemen for a number of years. Audra was particularly interested in witnessing to women, but the culture allowed them few freedoms. I found the story to be fascinating, although not particularly thrilling. I think the subtitle gave me high expectations for danger. The story is more about their family life (and how they interpreted God’s will for their lives) than about the people they wanted to reach. Perhaps this was because, if she gave too many personal details about the women, they would be put in danger. The names of all persons mentioned in the book were changed to protect their real identities.

 I recommend Behind the Veils of Yemen because of the content. However, the writing was overdone in places and sometimes grammatically questionable. For example, in one place, she wrote, “Anger gritted my teeth.” Since anger is not an animate object, it cannot do anything at all, much less grit teeth. There were other instances where the writing got in the way of the story.

The book ended as the author travelled back to the U. S. to have a baby. I was very disappointed that the end of the story was not shared. The epilogue stated that the Shelbys went back to Yemen later and served a few more years. Why was this not included in the story? I wanted to know what happened to the baby that lay crying in the dirt and about Audra’s friend, Fatima.

Shelby noted that they accomplished little in Yemen until they stepped up requests for American Christians to pray for them. Perhaps all of us can help missionaries if we all pray for them regularly.

See Audra’s website here: Buy it here.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, Chosen Books.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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