Salma does the unthinkable in the little town of Hima in the Levant. She falls in love and becomes pregnant. Of course her lover does not marry her and she is shunned by all in her Muslim community. To save her from being murdered by her brother, she is sent to a jail for unwed mothers, female adulterers and prostitutes where she gives birth to her daughter, who is whisked away from her without so much as a peek at the toes and fingers. Smuggled out of the prison and in to England she makes a new life for herself but yearns for Layla, her daughter. The story is very disjointed laced with no warning time-shiftings that can be disconcerting for those who prefer a linear approach, or at least clear indications of when one is reading about. I didn't come to like her enough to have her over for tea, but she worked hard and showed great humanity in her relationship with her landlady, who herself had unrequited love issues. For that I did admire Salma a lot. I kept hoping for some happiness but throughout she lived on the edge of life, and I knew we were in for something bad.
I've read many books about Muslim women. However, this was the most depressing of all. Misery and despair fill the pages - with a tragic ending. The not-surprising plot of this story gives evidence of the incredible violence, cruelty and barbaric behavior of many people (mainly men), who adhere to this 'religion'.
One of the best books I have ever read! Highly recommend!!!
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