• Take What You Can Carry

  • A Novel
  • By: Gian Sardar
  • Narrated by: Vaneh Assadourian
  • Length: 12 hrs and 28 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (215 ratings)

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Take What You Can Carry  By  cover art

Take What You Can Carry

By: Gian Sardar
Narrated by: Vaneh Assadourian
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Publisher's Summary

An aspiring photographer follows her dreams and faces her fears in a poignant novel about finding beauty, promise, and love amid the chaos of war-torn Kurdistan.

It’s 1979. Olivia Murray, a secretary at a Los Angeles newspaper, is determined to become a photojournalist and make a difference with her work. When opportunity arrives, she seizes it, accompanying her Kurdish boyfriend, Delan, to northern Iraq for a family wedding, hoping to capture an image that lands her a job in the photo department. More important, though, the trip is a chance to understand Delan’s childhood and bridge the differences of their pasts. Yet when the return home proves less safe than Delan believed, Olivia is confronted with a reality she had not expected. She is awakened to the dangers of a town patrolled by Iraqi military and under curfew and constant threat. 

But in this world torn apart by war, there are intoxicating sights and scents, Delan’s loving family, innocence not yet compromised, and small acts of kindness that flourish unexpectedly. All of it will be tested when Olivia captures a shattering, tragic moment on film, one that upends all their lives and proves that true bravery begins with an open heart.

©2021 Gian Schwehr (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Take What You Can Carry

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

read, don't listen

I had the option of reading this on my Kindle or listening. I really disliked the narrator - her tone of voice, her accent, and her way of reading were all jarring and distracting to me. I often really appreciate a narrator with an accent that matches the characters and settings, but in this case, she's narrating an American woman, and it wasn't a good fit. It is a wonderful book, though, with a gripping story line and really well-developed characters. I highly recommend reading it.

3 people found this helpful

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Wonderful story.

Great listen. Very well written. The book makes you feel as emotions, but most of all will give you an appreciation of the struggles that the Kurdish people have been through and continue to deal with to this day.

2 people found this helpful

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Great book

I enjoyed this book from start to finish. Did not want it to end. Great read

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Great narration

A harrowing story; if you think it's too dramatic, stay tuned for the author's notes at the end. For me, the main character is much too naive at times. Overall a great story, and the narration was top-notch.

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Beautifully written

This is a beautiful story of love, loss, tragedy, fear and hope. Well written to keep you involved until the end. Excellent performance as well.

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Great book, informative

Loved this book’s story and learning about a Middle Eastern country through events both happy and unimaginable.

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Loved it but....

Loved the story, the emotion, the culture and the historical perspective. But, like many novels it ended too abruptly; an epilogue would have been far more satisfying.

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Glimpses of love and endurance

A wonderful revelation of character and event in a country and people under constant attack. Living under persecution, always being watched, always compromised, yet still loving and forgiving. Described by an innocent who learns, sees.
This book reveals a world we can’t know.

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Even the credits are wonderful...

A wonderful story that has helped me learn about a wonderful people who i had little to no knowledge about. Thank you for teaching me with such a tremendously well written novel.

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An excellent read.

Suspenseful, tragic, and sad with a lovely love story interwoven throughout the story. To know that events such as written actually happened and in some cases continue to be a fact of life in the middle East is difficult to understand.

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  • NanaFaye
  • 05-08-22

Beautiful

Loved this book, a whole new way of life was shown us. Gentleness of the people when challenged by a story spread by a family member leading to a death. Forgiveness and revenge are constant companions in their lives. The life of this Kurdish family was a revelation for me.