Book Review | A Woman is No Man

Posted April 26, 2021 by TheNonbinaryLibrarian in book reviews / 0 Comments

Title: A Woman is No Man

Author: Etaf Rum

Publisher: Harper

Published: 5 March 2019

Pages: 339

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Deya is 18-years old and is starting to meet with suitors. She doesn’t want to, but her grandparents give her no choice. So, history is repeating itself. Deya’s mom, Isra, had not choice when she left Palestine as a teenager to marry Adam. However, Deya was raised to believe her parents died in a car accident. A secret note from a mysterious, yet familiar woman, makes Deya question everything she was told about her past. As the narrative alternates between Deya and Isra, Deya begins to understand the dark, complex secrets behind her community.

First off, this was a beautiful, yet horrific narrative, as many women across the world suffer from forced arranged marriages (which are very different from arranged marriages). I definitely want to praise Etaf for writing such a honest and raw book, and to have the courage and bravery to put it out to the public. I especially loved that this wasn’t centered around whiteness, nor was it centered around males, but it was centered around 3 Palestinian Muslim women. The book captures the complexity of generational trauma and family, the violence of occupation and diaspora, and the resilience of women.

This is definitely a book I will buy (it was a library book I read) and read it more and more. I also definitely want to learn more about the culture and customs of Palestine and Islam. I know this is a short review but I don’t want to give too much away, as you should just go and read it yourself!

Happy Reading Darlings!

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