Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £27.59

Buy Now for £27.59

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

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.

More from the same

What listeners say about Take What You Can Carry

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Annielewme
  • Annielewme
  • 17-05-21

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Eagle101
  • Eagle101
  • 07-05-21

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for C.S.
  • C.S.
  • 02-11-21

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.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rose S
  • Rose S
  • 09-10-21

Great book, informative

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-10-21

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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-09-21

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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tish Brey
  • Tish Brey
  • 06-09-21

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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-08-21

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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tryka
  • Tryka
  • 23-08-21

Hardship Makes Us Better

Suggest the reader push through the struggle of relationship to come to the understanding that life without entitled comfort helps us to appreciate every moment of life/love to its fullest measure.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ellen
  • Ellen
  • 20-08-21

An outstanding book

This is a great book. Rich with geography, history and culture of Kurdistan; engaging, complex characters; a touching romance; compelling tension; intense fear; lasting love and hope.

I rarely reread books (too many books, too little time!!!) but I plan to reread this one. About halfway through the book, I noticed that the author was very intentional; nearly every character, scene and conversation had significance. A detail as seemingly minor as watching a flock of birds became meaningful later in the book. I want to go back and pick up on those details. My first read was on Audible; next time will be on Kindle.