Father of Lions by Louise Callaghan

Audio Book, narrated by Saul Reichlin

Life in Occupied Mosul

My rating: 5 out of 5


This is a story of life in Mosul, Iraq,  when it fell under the rule of the Islamic State between 2014 and 2017. 

Father of LionsThe insights into the daily lives of ordinary people when the Islamic State ruled are profound and unsettling.  How they coped with the extreme changes forced upon them,  and managed to survive and carry on despite the fear, horror and bombs all around them. Amongst all this is the story of how Abu Laith, helped by locals, saved as many of the animals in the local zoo as he could, and eventually helped these animals escape to better living conditions. 

The narration is excellent, and there is a section at the end about the author’s interviews etc.  The character’s names were unfamiliar to me, so I did get a little confused as to who was who, but this didn’t detract from the power of the story.   Having finished listening to the story I then googled pictures of Mosul, Abu Laith and the zoo;  I wish I had done this earlier. 

5*s for this remarkable true story of survival, and of people who are willing to risk all to help.   


USA Cover

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