A review on The Broken Wings

A better Romeo and Juliet.

Paperback cover of The Broken Wings by Kahil Gibran

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Paperback cover of The Broken Wings by Kahil Gibran

Kahlil Gribran’s novel killed my will to love.

When reading The Broken Wings you can feel the hot Mediterranean air from Beirut, you can feel Kahil’s love for Selma and you can see the unfairness of the world. Kahlil Gribran’s descriptive words are like a quiet steady stream that doesn’t pull the reader in, instead his sentences flow though your mind ever so gently.

Gibran was born on January 6, 1883, in Bsharri, Lebanon, which at the time was part of Syria and part of the Ottoman Empire. In 1885 Gibran, his mother and his siblings moved to Boston, Massachusetts where he learned to read and write in english. He was very passionate about photography and art but his most acclaimed projects were his poems and books, The Prophet, released in 1923, being his most famous work.

The Broken Wings takes place in Beirut during the turn of the century. The church had a lot of power in that region of the world during those years,and effects of that can still be seen today in Beirut. The protagonist, who is believed to be a model of the author himself, falls in love with Selma Karamy ,a woman already promised to a religious man’s nephew. She is said to be beautiful with gentle features and is a very caring woman .

After a very unusual introduction Kahil and Selma spend a lot of time together. She lives with her father, Farris Effandi ,who is of old age, and strangely enough was also good friends with Kahil’s father. Effandi is a very simple and lovable man, he’s kind of spirit and really reflects the image of a father, he always talks with wisdom to the young couple. Effandi was very fond of Kahil, in many of his parts of the book you can see Effandi taking Kahil as his own son. 

The first-hand experience is very noticeable through-out the read. The vision that Gibran portrays of a happy childhood in Lebanon is completely destroyed by the post war scenario that leaves the country in ruins. Effendi’s house is a contradiction to the city scenario, the house is said to be beautiful, on top of a hill surrounded by green fields and a lovely garden, which creates a paradox for the couple, a safe space to share their love. Critics believe the house to be an extension of Kahil’s emotions when he is with Selma, since in moments of grief such as Effandi passing away and Selma leaving for the church man’s house he notices the livelihood of the house disappear . Gibran accentuates this by describing Kahil going through the rooms and smelling death roaming in the house when Effandi was on his deathbed.

Even though the book was first published in 1912, the language is very accessible and simplistic. But in no way this affects the intensity of Gibran’s words. When talking about the character Kahil’s lack of meaningful friendships the author says the following,

“ That sorrow which obsessed me during my youth was not caused by the lack of amusement, because I could have had it ; neither from lack of friends, because I could have found them. That sorrow was caused by an inward ailment which made me love solitude.”                                                                                                   

It’s a must read really, the topic of love has been forgotten, or at the very least distorted, the purity and depth of Gibran’s words are promised to give people chills at some point, either from sorrow or by his word arrangements.The book also have a 4.5 rating on GoodReads.

“I can’t write a review of this book. And not because it is bad, but on the contrary. It is exceptional. So kind and gentle, and deep. Full of feelings. And life teachings.” Says the book reviewer Denisa Arsene on Goodreads.