From Sleep Unbound
Chedid, Andree was an Egyptian-French novelist and poet of Lebanese and Christian descent. She was born on 20th March 1920 in Cairo, Egypt and died on 6th February 2011, in Paris, France.
The novel explores themes like interconnected ties, individuality and humanity that bond an individual to the rest of the world. The story delves into the struggle of a single woman facing despair and also into rebirth and rays of hope. An Egyptian Catholic woman, Samya is forced to get married to a 45 year old man she does not love. She is completely disconnected from family and former friends and struggles alone. Her pitiful and sorrowful existence languishes her into sorrow. She realizes her mental resilience after she takes a look at her soul and gradually becomes a woman possessing greatly renewed strength and power. An oppressed woman with the right mental fortitude will not allow male figures to dominate her and can easily take control of her life, is what the novel is all about.
A prominent person Boutros, a tyrant expects her to be his wife, conceive and provide him sons. Finally after a decade she delivers a daughter, Mia. Samya feels repulsive towards Boutros and sister in law Rachida for treating her like an object. At age 6 Mia dies due to typhoid fever and Samya is affected by paralysis due to the shock. Boutros and his sister make Samya’s life so miserable that one day she shoots and kills him.