About the Book:
First off, isn’t that cover gorgeous. I would see that in a bookstore and I would make a bee line I can tell you that.
In the forward Ms. Chalabi tells the reader that if they are looking for information on her father’s activities after the fall of Saddam that they are not in the book. The book is her story – but it is not so much her story as the story of her grandmother, Bibi and the story of Iraq.
It is not quite a memoir, not a history either but no matter what it is, Late for Tea at the Deer Palace was a fascinating read. The Chalabi family has been close to the ruling elite of what became Iraq from the end of the Ottoman empire through the British mandate and into the Kingdom of Iraq. They only fell out of favor when the royal family was assassinated in a coup in the 1950s. The family was slowly able to leave the country and settle first in London, then in Lebanon.
Ms. Chalabi spares no punches with stories of her family but it is her grandmother that rules the book and I suspect who ruled the family when she was living. She comes through as a very strong character and not always in the best of lights. I would say that 80% of the book covers Bibi and her life and times. The rest is devoted to early Iraq and current events. Precious little of Tamara’s story is really fleshed out.
The book reads like a novel and it was like living the history of Iraq with Ms. Chalabi’s family. Her passionate re-telling of these stories allows the reader to remember a time when Iraq was not a news story and to remind us that it is so much more than the sum of two Gulf Wars. Iraq has a long and rich history that deserves remembering as so much of society was born in its lands.
You can see the rest of the Tour Schedule HERE
Disclosure: I received a copy of Late for Tea at the Deer Palace gratis from TLC Book Tours. Any opinions expressed are my honest opinions and were not impacted by my receipt of the free book. I received no monetary compensation for this post.