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The story tried to bring to the fore important issues especially in trying to show how in Muslim societies, just like any other society, there are problems. I am positive this became necessary because of the squeaky clean image the society got in the trilogy , at least.

All fine and good but what gives a writer the right to write a text book with about a hundred characters? Not only that, the writer had a problem letting go of issues so the same issues kept being revisited on different characters. I did not enjoy the book, I was offended by the size and sub-plots. I immediately gave my sister the book to read to punish her the way the person that gave me the book punished me.

I also felt that some things were overdone, like Deanna putting Aliyah down or the facebook messages that Deanna and her cohorts kept posting. I don't think in the adult world people actually behave like that. It was not believable for me. Before I go, let me drop this last line: how strange Jacob and Aliyah's brand of courtship! They would speak of work and every other thing but their feelings. Jacob would only ask to speak to Aliyah's uncle, never once did he use the opportunity of being a colleague to sell himself to her.

I think this is a rather extreme show of religiosity. I find this kind of restraint impossible to believe especially for a man that waited more than twelve years to have the opportunity to marry this lady. No, thank you. I think Within limit and probably in the presence of a chaperone,nothing stops a man from expressing his feelings in the hope that he convinces her to accept him.

View all 3 comments. Sep 03, Boho Beannie rated it liked it. This is the first book I've read by this author. The storyline moved slowly and the conversations too often seemed like forced sermons. I understand talking about how to actually live out your faith, but the characters seemed too flat. As a non-Muslim, I enjoyed the frequent Quran references and how everything was seen through the lens of their belief.

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The mental health issues were difficult, but I appreciated that the author didn't make them easy or quick solutions but showed the very real cont This is the first book I've read by this author. The mental health issues were difficult, but I appreciated that the author didn't make them easy or quick solutions but showed the very real continuous struggle that is mental illness. I'm not sure of this would qualify as a romance or women's fiction, but it was interesting to read. Feb 21, Ruqaiyah Davids rated it it was ok. Umm Zakiyyah seemed set out to save the world with this novel.


While noble, it's just not possible. Nor does it make for a good read. She addresses several valid and important issues in the novel, and allows her readers to enter into enlightening discussions by way of her characters' dialogue. I particularly like how she allows for differing views to be presented by way of two characters discussing their personal views and understanding on a matter. It allows us to see that, as individuals who ar Umm Zakiyyah seemed set out to save the world with this novel. It allows us to see that, as individuals who are part of a larger ummah, we don't all have to see things the same way, and that, when we do disagree, we can do so amicably and still learn from one another.

I really like this aspect of the novel. However, the story was much too long, and it includes way too many sub-plots and had way too much repetition of the same issues and even repeats whole parts of previous conversations and scenes -- Umm Zakiyyah should not underestimate her readers by thinking she needs to repeat information over and over or explain explicitly how one thing relates to another when it is actually obvious. This was unnecessary and extremely disturbing to me while reading.

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On the other hand, however, there were several scenes which I feel she has glossed over and that I would actually have liked to have seen the full extent of -- I felt deprived and left out of the loop. Additionally, many of her conversations between characters were much too lengthy to be gripping -- and some conversations arose quite inorganically and felt too forced, their sole purpose being to address a topic with a particular agenda, while having no actual relevance or purpose in furthering the plot or developing an important character.

Unfortunately, there is an imbalance in the novel between over-emphasising certain scenes and issues, and not fully developing or exploring others. Umm Zakiyyah's technical writing skill is sound, and her story and its themes are coherent for the most part, ma sha Allah. However, this novel would have been much more impacting and enjoyable had it been reduced by a few characters and sub-plots, and a couple of hundred pages.

May 29, Faseeha Esmailjee rated it it was amazing. This book took me a good amount of time to finish and when purchasing the fact that the book was thick and font was small excited me immensely. This book has certainly added a different perspective to Islam and how people born into Islam take a lot for granted.

This resonated with me.

The Other Woman: A Novel

I do appreciate that Aliyah was humanised in the last chapter when she finally broke down after Deannas attempted suicide. This book was well thought out and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Jan 03, Elizabeth Lindsey rated it it was amazing Shelves: Love this book! I have yet to be disappointed with anything by this author. Her characters are realistic enough that I feel as though I have met them, or at least heard of of them. The storylines reflect the struggles of the Muslim community and. Inspire us to turn to Allah for solutions. Mar 11, Taneem rated it it was ok.

Re: research, this was a really interesting book in both supporting and evading polygamy, in demonstrating an anti-LGBT sentiment as Islamic, in discussing self help in Islam, in thinking about blackness in Islam and the relationship between black Muslims, conversion, and immigrant Muslims. Oct 24, Raheemah rated it it was amazing. Well written story that gripped me from the beginning to the end. I even prayed that it wouldn't end.

May 25, Abu Kamdar rated it really liked it. This is a well written novel, worth a read for people who like fiction. It is an interesting tale full of important lessons and points to ponder. But it juggled too many stories at once, leaving some stories unfinished. That is only issue with what was really a well told story. Jan 27, Samantha Salem rated it it was amazing. That was intense!!! Just finished reading it!

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But I'm glad how everything ended. Great job Umm Zakiyyah as usual! Feb 05, Leanna rated it really liked it. Good read and not really about the what you would expect from the title.

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I am glad to finish the book after getting a teaser from reading the short story with the same title. Aminath Ali rated it it was amazing Jan 17, Rabi Nyako rated it it was amazing May 04, Mohammad Zahid Mateen rated it really liked it Jul 22, Abu rated it really liked it Mar 18, Mimie Saleh rated it it was amazing Oct 16, Maryam rated it really liked it Mar 01, Nadia Adnan rated it it was amazing Sep 02, The book represents a real step forward for Wolitzer, and its success lies in its reticence.

Joan defiantly leaves us wanting more, whereas Wolitzer's other heroines left us wanting maybe a teensy bit less. But if ''The Wife'' is a puzzle and an entertainment, it's also a near heartbreaking document of feminist realpolitik. In the modernist milieu the Castlemans inhabit, to be a woman writer is automatically to be lesser, to produce work faintly praised as ''powerful in its own right.

She appears here as a kind of Lady Writer fetish object that the male writers finger when they want to demonstrate an appreciation of the weaker sex. The central event of the book is a non-event: the moment when Joan Castleman gave up her own writing to be a wife. The postwar male literary ego also stands astride Alan Lelchuk's new novel.

His Other Wife by Umm Zakiyyah

Danny and Arthur have been close friends and rivals for odd years, exchanging the kind of sexual one-upmanship and intellectual banter you expect from literary he-men. They met at Yaddo in the late 's. View all New York Times newsletters. Danny Levitan bears a striking resemblance to another literary figure: Alan Lelchuk. In case the comparison isn't crystal clear, Lelchuk puts up a few signposts: he wrote a novel entitled ''Miriam at Thirty-Four''; Danny has written one called ''Helen at Danny's desperation and sheer has-been-ness in the opening pages are the novel's finest moments.

It's a little shocking to see Lelchuk so baldly gauge and send up his own stature. An honest assessment of one's career may be the last taboo for writers. Ziff himself seems to be a composite of contemporary American literature's big boys, but he most resembles Philip Roth. Here is the loathing of academic puritanism, the memoir-writing actress ex-wife, the uncomfortable rub of Jewishness, the inability to shut up about the sexy stuff.

Arthur is hardly the point, though; we're more interested in Danny, his self-loathing Salieri. There's no shortage of courage in Lelchuk's portrayal of Danny, but courage, as Evel Knievel discovered back in , is not enough. You also have to get the bike across the canyon.

The problem is not the plot: Danny chases the story of the real Arthur Ziff from New York to Rome to Budapest; Arthur resists Danny's biographical attentions; Danny is ultimately outmaneuvered. The plot is fine, even David Lodge-y in the way it hurtles its anti-hero around the globe. The problem is one of tone. The novel might or might not be a fine sendup of contemporary literary life.

Lelchuk has such imperfect control of Danny's voice that you can't tell if he's writing deep satire or plain description. Danny's c. He's an old-Saab-driving, baseball-loving, Labrador-owning, sex-exalting Jewish bad-boy writer from Brooklyn. This is a pretty funny laundry list of literary stereotypes, but I'm not altogether convinced that Danny is meant to be quite as ridiculous as he seems.

Some of his more annoying traits are, I suspect, meant as rare virtues. Here's one aside: ''I returned to the scores of the previous night's games, happy to see Indiana knocked out again, especially by Princeton. The torch of Pete Carrill was still carried on by his successor, showing how the bounce pass and back-door cut could win; good for the college game. But if this is indeed satire, it's so well disguised and so ill written that it hardly counts. You come away with the impression that Lelchuk is a writer who'd like to skewer literary pretensions but keeps falling in love with them instead.

There's a swell paragraph in ''The Wife'' where Joan gives us a brief history of Joe and his cronies -- the same generation of writers Lelchuk chronicles. In the 's, she says, they ''used to gather sometimes for socialist meetings. A decade later they gathered at marathon, all-night readings whose purpose was to protest the war in Vietnam and suck all the energy out of the audience.

And then they gathered again in the early 80's after they had all sheepishly agreed to pose for ads for a fearfully expensive wristwatch manufactured by an old, elegant German company with an unsavory Nazi history.