by Sarah A. Al Shafei
Khadeeja is a child who is forced into womanhood early. She is compelled to marry a man much older than she through arranged marriage and lives a world of hardships from then on. Her mother dies soon after her wedding, leaving her with a husband she hardly knows and two brothers she knows nothing of. Khadeeja learns to love her husband and win his love in return, but just as she thought her life was a beautiful love story her precious son dies from a scorpion bite. Grief and sadness become her new best friends. Her husband, whom she can't live without, abandons her without warning and she is left to raise and support eight children while pregnant with the ninth. Her brother, who finds out about his sister's misfortune and the truth behind his brother-in-law's actions, returns to Bahrain to take care of Khadeeja, but when he finds out about his cheating wife falls ill with sadness and grief and soon dies. Khadeeja forces herself to survive with the faith and patience she has inherited from her late mother and faces life's war with strength, courage and pride. She grows with her children; she grows with time; she grows with history - her country's history. She succeeds in raising wonderful children who go through their own share of happiness and misfortune. Her husband, who married another woman for money, returns filled with regret and in a wheelchair. Though Khadeeja was hurt and angry she opens her arms for him with love and forgiveness, but watching him die in her arms takes her back in time as she goes through the grief all over again. As a great-grandmother Khadeeja sits back to watch her triumph, her success and dies with dignity, leaving behind a legend to be remembered by many.