Western Wives, Iraqi Lives

A good book can take something that seemed impenetrable and make such elegant sense of it that readers wonder why they never saw order in all that chaos before. Malcolm Gladwell did it for snap decision making. Jared Diamond did it for the rise of civilizations. Now Lynne O'Donnell, with High Tea in Mosul, does it for sniper fire and kidnapping threats. Four years into the war in Iraq, she captures with stark simplicity what it's like to live with ceaseless fear and violence.

High Tea in Mosul follows two Englishwomen, longtime friends Pauline (a pseudonym) and Margaret...

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