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Half Life    by Roopa Farooki order for
Half Life
by Roopa Farooki
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2010 (2010)

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* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

Aruna Ahmed Jones is a beautiful, well educated woman. She grew up in Singapore and was left motherless at the young age of three. Her father provided well for her, but she was raised by a nanny and always had a feeling of emptiness. Her best friend Jazz, a young schoolboy, was Aruna's protector. They were inseparable, always sharing their thoughts and dreams. As they grew older, it was natural for them to fall in love. Everyone said they were a beautiful couple, so much alike.

After college Aruna and Jazz moved in together, but life was not easy for them. Aruna was a recovering addict. She suffered numerous miscarriages while they were together, and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. As time went on, Aruna knew something was not right in their relationship, so she sought out the professional opinions of doctors and psychiatrists. The news left Aruna and Jazz devastated and confused, and shortly afterwards Aruna walked away from the only life she knew.

Aruna fled to London, England wanting to start over. She met and married Patrick Jones, a handsome physician, who fell in love with Aruna instantly. Patrick was happy to be married to a beautiful woman and settle down. It didn't take Patrick long to notice Aruna's aloofness and lack of intimacy in their marriage. He complained she was always somewhere else. Patrick wanted children, but Aruna would not even discuss it.

Patrick realized he did not know Aruna at all. She would never share her past with him, and had a hard time communicating, always walking away instead of working things out. One day while Patrick was at work, a line in the newspaper caught Aruna's attention and she caught a flight to Singapore. Aruna knew she had to confront the ghosts of her past in order to be happy. Half Life is a multilayered story of love, family, and acceptance, full of conflict and sacrifice.

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