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Puja Guha
Sirens of Memory
Puja Guha, author
A character-driven international psychological thriller that combines Cape Fear with a refugee story during the Gulf War from Amazon bestseller Puja Guha. After being beaten nearly to death by her husband Tareq, Mariam awakes in a hospital to the two most frightening words, "You're pregnant." Fearing for her unborn child's safety, Mariam plans her escape only to have it complicated by the invasion of Iraqi troops into Kuwait. In the chaos, she leaves Tareq for dead and hides out in a refugee camp where she is helped by Raj, a young man who lost his wife in the mayhem of the Gulf War. Together they begin to build a new life, with Raj raising Mariam's daughter Aliya as his own. Fast forward twenty-five years and their perfect world is turned upside-down when the past catches up to them, threatening everything they've salvaged from the ruins, including Aliya.
Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9.00 out of 10


Plot: Sirens of Memory is a fast-paced, well plotted novel about trauma, recovery, and identity. The storyline spans decades and continents, but is ultimately seamless.

Prose/Style: Guha’s prose is clear and direct, while also maintaining a poetic streak. The novel details multiple POVs, all of which are distinct and emotional.

Originality: Guha sets Mariam’s escape from her abusive husband against her escape from her war-torn homeland. The two journeys complement each other well, especially when Mariam realizes her past has caught up with her in America.

Character/Execution: The heart of this novel lies with protagonist Mariam, a woman who finds a way to survive her abusive spouse, and then a war, when she finds out she’s pregnant. There’s an honesty to Mariam’s strengths and weaknesses that will resonate with readers. Mariam’s husbands, Tareq and Raj, are both vividly painted and well-rounded characters as well.

Date Submitted: June 30, 2020

Jamie Mason, author of THE HIDDEN THINGS

"Guha writes with authority and grace, intrepidly tackling life's harshest realities and warmest hopes in this tour-de-force thriller."

Mike McCrary, author of RELENTLESS and HARD HEARTS

"A gripping psychological thriller about the real horror that can come from the people you let in while also hitting the sweet spot between page turner and searing authenticity."