A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum

How I Read It: Audiobook/Print

Dates Read: 3/20/19-3/24/19

I heard about this book through Book of the Month. This book has been weighing on my mind since I started reading it. Don’t be fooled by the dates, this book is amazing, and important. FYI, this book does talk about rape and assault, so if those are triggers for you, I recommend not reading this one. But I absolutely love this book, and here’s my thoughts on why:

Fareeda, Isra, Deya. 3 generations. Deya is a 17-year-old second generation Palestinian American girl in 2008 who doesn’t want to be forced into marriage. When she discovers secrets about her parents, she struggles to come to terms with her memories and this new information. Isra, a Palestinian girl, is married to an American at 17 in 1990. Forced to move to the United States, she is expected to take care of the house and bear a son. But when her first child is a daughter, the pressure from her mother-in-law continues to grow. Fareeda throughout the years is just trying to keep her family out of the gossip circles. But as everything in her life fall out of plan, she continues to try to hold the world together. In an incredibly genuine and insightful story told by the 3 women, the idea of what does being a woman means, especially in a religion that tends to minimize women’s options, and what are you willing to sacrifice in order to find your own will is considered through the different decades.

For better or worse, I have boobs. Those boobs often let guys think they have control over my body, or that they are allowed to do things that are not humane and are really jerk-y. Having a book that talks about how little respect women have, it just feels so important.

So let’s start with, I know nothing about Muslim culture. Like at all. I know Ramadan and that’s about it. However, you do not really need to know about the culture to read and understand the book.

I really don’t want to talk about the storyline because I truly want that to be something you read, but what I do want to talk about is what I was thinking about as I read so:

I have every opportunity to live my dreams. I mean, I’m doing this for crying out loud. I went to college for chemistry and didn’t even think twice about it. I didn’t even think there was another option. But I keep thinking, what if this was my life? What if I was forced to marry the first man that said yes? What if I was forced to bear children for a man I didn’t even like? What if? I never really realized how freakin’ lucky I am to live the life I live. I absolutely love that this book shows a type of relationship that I haven’t really seen in other books of this caliber. And I hope you learn from it.

So I give this book 5 stars out of 5, and I encourage you to pick it up and read it. If you have any thoughts or comments on my review, let me know in the comments. And if you would like to talk to my privately, e-mail me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. As always, I will see you at the next book (hopefully with a little happier of a review)!

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