The Jewel of Medina
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The Jewel of Medina (Medina #1)

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3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  938 ratings  ·  168 reviews
A'isha bint Abi Bakr is the daughter of a rich merchant from Mecca in the harsh, exotic world of seventh-century Arabia at the time of the foundation of Islam. When she is married to the Prophet Muhammad at the age of nine, she must rely on her wits, her courage, and even her sword in a struggle to control her own destiny and carve out a place for herself in the community,...more
Hardcover, 358 pages
Published October 6th 2008 by Beaufort Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Ketika saya membaca buku ini, saya sudah bertekad untuk membacanya secara jernih, bebas dari prasangka. Tapi sejak bab-bab awal pun, saya tahu bahwa saya tidak akan sepenuhnya berhasil. Saya berusaha untuk membaca buku ini layaknya membaca novel lain, tapi ketika habis halaman prolog, simpati saya terhadap buku ini nyaris tersisa sedikit. Bagaimanapun sulit melepas prasangka dalam membaca sebuah buku jika si penulisnya sendiri memiliki prasangka dalam menulis bukunya.

Seperti halnya buku “The Sat...more
Michele
The Quick Synopsis:
The Jewel of Medina is a historical fiction novel about A'isha bint Abu Bakr, one of the Prophet Muhammad's numerous wives and, according to Muslim history, his favorite. The story is told in first person and covers A'isha's life from childhood to young adulthood (she was 18 years old when Muhammad died.)

The Tempest in a Teapot:
Much controversy has surrounded this debut novel from Sherry Jones. It was originally picked up by Random House in a two-book, $100,000 deal in 2007. P...more
S.
Jul 25, 2011 S. rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to S. by: received as a "gift"
Somewhere in the Caribbean there is a stretch of beach lush with palm trees, with sand the color of milk, where I hope someday to go, and hurl this book into the ocean where I will never see it again.
Tea Jovanović
Pošto već nisam uspela da izdavača sprečim da objavi ovu knjigu "dala" sam mu odličnog prevodioca tako da stilski i jezički ova knjiga mnogo bolje zvuči u srpskom prevodu nego u originalu... :)
Nilo
Aunque el prefacio y la primera parte son algo medio tedioso, la segunda parte es interesante y a veces divertida, sobre todo los pasajes donde se plasman los conflictos y dramas del harem. Y a pesar de su naturaleza feminista y a la vez asfixiante (gracias al personaje de Mahoma) es una novela entretenida, todo gracias a la astuta y soñadora Aisha, quien termina siendo más que un personaje entrañable.
Me sorprendió haber leído críticas donde lo califican como insulto, cuando, sinceramente no sé...more
Ron
Anybody who says this novel is "soft-core pornography," as Islamic studies professor Denise Spellberg did, must have some sort of agenda -- there is nothing in this book that even remotely meets that standard. There are scenes where sex is implied, one scene where sexual intercouse is about to take place but does not, and one scene in which a six-year-old A'isha witnesses two adults having sex without fully understanding what she's seeing--but even that is presented in a non-pornographic way in...more
Carolanne
Jan 18, 2009 Carolanne rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: NO ONE
Just because you earned some fancy journalist awards, does not mean you should write a book. THIS BOOK IS AWFUL. Seriously, some of the worst writing I've ever read.
NYtimes gave this a bad review and I should have known right then and there, but I thought, no I'll give this a chance. Well, I shot my self in the foot by renting this rabble at the library.
Will I finish it? I'm sure. Will I be in physical pain from reading such crap? yes. Will I be mentally damaged at the end of it? Hopefully not...more
Alissa
I enjoy historical fiction, and I thought this book would be a good way to gain some insights on Muslim culture and Muhammed.

Some selections from the first page:
"My neighbors rushed into the street like storm waters flooding a wadi."

"My father's mouth trembled like a tear on the brink."

"My tongue lolled like a sun-baked lizard."

Did the author raid a fifth grade teacher's imagery lesson? My. God. The writing is just abysmal. Like an old man's intestines after $1 sandwich night at Arby's, it's abo...more
Stephanie
I'm abandoning this book. I find it offensive that someone who obviously has little knowledge or respect for Islam and its history could write a novel such as this. I was hoping to find a novel that would be understanding of Islam and Aisha; this is not that novel. I fear that this book will only continue to misinform Western readers about Islam and the circumstances surrounding Aisha's marriage to Muhammed (pbuh). The historical Aisha is a role model for women, speaking her mind, never afraid t...more
Doreen
Let me get my pettiest complaint out of the way first: the cover is all wrong. A'ishah, the heroine of the piece, has red hair and green eyes, so I'm not sure who the cover is supposed to depict.

Overall, I thought Sherry Jones did a very respectful rendering of how she views the life of women in the early era of Islam. I think her narrative wasn't the smoothest (e.g. with A'isha's fight training) but I understand that she had a lot of material to cover and needed to pick and choose. I thought sh...more
Nojood Alsudairi
Mar 01, 2009 Nojood Alsudairi added it
Recommends it for: No one
Recommended to Nojood by: Myself
Even historical fiction should have some credibility. It is obvious that the journalist-writer did not do her homework. She lived in Afghanistan for a year and could not get out of Afghanestan when she wrote this book. Burdah? Hatun? Do these words have any meaning for Arabs? Beduins? Maybe she meant A3rab? I could not read over the sixth chapter and had to skim through the rest. You know why this book is popular? Because it was written in the right time. It all goes back to politics. People, th...more
Manny
May 20, 2009 Manny marked it as to-read
Just ordered it.

On the one hand, the general opinion is that this book isn't very good. On the other, a couple of heavily bearded Muslim gentlemen were found guilty the other day of trying to firebomb the publisher. Well, I'm willing to be reasonable. They stop firebombing, I'll stop reading crap novels that allegedly insult the Prophet's memory. It's a good offer. Think about it.
Amy
this book was really disappointing. To begin with, Allah has never been referred to as al-Lah, and after all the sources referred to in the writing of this book (at least the number that are listed in the bibliography)really surprising. I found that the characters were extremes rather than fully rounded believable characters. I understand that writing about religious figures is a tricky subject, but I found that the author was really trying to infer that that Muhammed (pbuh) was a weak, lustful...more
Tamara Rebeka
Oh my freaking Allah, this sucked.... So I got this for my Bday from a friend and he chose it because he was told it was a love story and because of all the controversy surrounding it so naturally I had to read it and I was so bored I had to read it in a couple of segments. First of I found nothing controversial in the book but I did find it unbelievable that Mohamed will marry a 9 year old girl and fall in love with her and take her opinions on everything... I'm not quite sure about the truthfu...more
Kim
I am not a Muslim. However, I still found it offensive that the author portrayed one of the most influential men in history as a sex maniac who couldn't keep it in his pants and had to marry practically every attractive woman he set eyes on. The author also made Mohammed's messages from Allah seem extremely self-serving. She portrays a holy man as a selfish pig who uses "visions" to justify his wants and desires. And Aisha? Did the author intend to portray her as a selfish, spoiled little whiny...more
Stephanie
The beginning of the religion of Islam as told from the point of view of one of Mohammad's wives. Mohammad was quite a lady's man with many wives and at least two concubines. Sherry Jones gives the reader an inside look at Islam's Prophet through the eyes and thoughts of Mohammad's youngest bride, A'isha , who is promised to Mohammad at age 6 and marries him at age 12.Definitely worth reading in our modern world threatened by Islamic extremists and for anyone interested in one of the human stori...more
Sybele
This theme, and historical background could give a masterpiece. Unfortunately it was chosen just to bring attention to the author, to prove me right her another book came up. I guess we will have to deal with many things of Medina till the author develops vocabulary and style and hopefully becomes less pretentious.
Saima
The authors lack of knowledge on the subject is obvious, plus she arrogantly writes in first person prose as if Ayesha is from 2012 generation...!!! It's inappropriate and I sure could not finish it.
Emily Freeman
Hmmmm. Told from the point if view of a child bride to the prophet Muhammed. Yet again, first person POV ruins what might have been a very good story. The first and last seventy-five pages or so seem to hint at real depth in the characters, but everything in between is pretty flat. Muhammad comes off as lustful, power-hungry, and self-serving throughout most of the book, with no hint as to why anyone would even follow him, other than his growing military might. Was this simply because the author...more
Shomeret
In the course of reading this book, I felt that I could see similarities between Islam and Judaism in their origins as desert tribal religions. The roots of these traditions can still be seen in current practices.

Sherry Jones showed Aisha going through a process of growth. I admired the Mother of the Poor and the role she played in helping Aisha to mature. It is indeed a feminist book. This isn't only because of Aisha's independence and desire for equality, but because of the alliances between w...more
Biljana Janjic
this book was censored/banned in my country (Serbia) when it was published and this was the only reason to read it. there was a great fuss and public outburst because of the censorship, so, luckily (and I mean luckily for my country's attempts to be democratic, not because of the book's quality), the book was very soon in the bookstores and libraries again. so, the Islam mashihat lost this game in my country. I've already read several books about Aisha and Muhammad - most of them written by West...more
Sara
The Jewel of Medina
Sherry Jones

The Jewel of Medina by Sherry Jones is set in the founder of Islam, the Prophet Muhammad’s harim and the plot consists of the battle to win his favor. The story is told entirely from the point of view of A’isha, Muhammad’s most beloved bride amongst a bevy of beautiful wives. Married at nine she is affectionately called “child bride”, and as such her position in the harim is constantly undermined. As she navigates the politics of Muhammad’s harim, she is embroiled...more
Heather
A'isha bint Abi Bakr has known the prophet Muhammad all her life; in fact, he was present at her birth. When her father, a close ally to Muhammad, decides to cement his loyalty and friendship to the prophet by betrothing A'isha to him when she is just 6 years old, her fate as his "child-bride" begins. Though A'isha will not be married to Muhammad for three years, her betrothal to the prophet brings many unusual changes into the life of the young girl. Beginning with an unusually early purdah (fo...more
Robin Levin
Sherry Jones' novel The Jewel of Medina tells the story of the prophet Mohammad and his child bride A'isha. A'isha was the daughter of Abu Bakr, an early follower of the prophet. He offered the fifty-two year old widower Mohammad his six year old daughter to strengthen their bond of friendship and devotion. The wedding ceremony took place when A'isha was nine, but the marriage would not be consumated until after menarche.
Jones portrays A'isha as a high spirited and willful child who feels stifle...more
Mita
Apr 28, 2009 Mita rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Moderate non-judgemental Muslim readers
Recommended to Mita by: Asma Hasan
Being a Muslim, it's hard to not be overly critical when reviewing the book even when I try to keep an open mind. The premise is admittedly very promising, but the execution is mediocre at best, even poor at some places.

I would call this book a romance/historical novel than literature. It is easy to read and entertaining to an extent, but it lacks plot and direction, and is often too simplistic in its mini-plot resolutions.
The characters are predictable and one-dimensional; in her attempt to add...more
Paitsgreekgirl
Since I love historical fiction I thought this book would help me understand Islam and the Muslim faith. I had started reading it months ago and put it down because I was bored to tears but my obsessive compulsive behavior made me pick it back up and finish it. I'll admit it got better and I wanted to get to the ending but it didn't teach me much. The way the author portrayed Mohammed made me really wonder how this religion ever took off. He seemed to be a sex crazed maniac with many wives and c...more
Michael
The Jewel of Medina and it is an inspiring, well written adventure that brings the early days of the Muslim religion to life. This is my first exposure to the Muslim culture and it is a very positive experience. Muhammad, A'isha and Ali become real people expressing honest human emotions and a genuine desire for creating a religion of peace, understanding and equality. This is such a relief from their minimalist image portrayed by today's Muslim extremists. The Jewel of Medina held my attention...more
Cathy
I started this book and almost tossed it to the side, but it grew on me a little bit. Story of one of Mohammed's wives as told from her point of view. It seemed sort of psychotic in a way: one minute the main character realizes she needs to be more adult, the next thing she does is play with toy horses. She's only 9, for heaven's sake...the dialog was bizarre. The inconsistency doesn't ever stop, it's in all of the characters. Even though it's supposed to be "historical", I wouldn't take any of...more
Teralyn Pilgrim
While Kamran Pasha's "Mother of the Believers" focused more on the religion, Sherry focused more on Aisha’s coming of age and her relationship with Muhammad, including the difficulties of being in a polygamous marriage. Such a life requires patience, selflessness, and an open heart, all of which Aisha struggles with because she is an assertive child who loves her husband fiercely. Watching Aisha grow up as both a leader of her people and the favorite wife of twelve women was fascinating. It’s ea...more
Cynthia
I really enjoyed this book! I fell in love with Muhammad's young wife, the young heroine-Aisha, and could hardly put the book down I was so interested in her plight. Learning about the earliest Muslim women and the prophet Muhammad also fascinated me because of the obvious timliness of the subject. I love learning about other cultures and seeing things from their perspective. Although this primarily a fictional love story I feel like I learned a bit of Muslim history, as well. I can't wait to re...more
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1219600
Sherry Jones is an American journalist and internationally best selling author of the controversial "The Jewel of Medina" and other historical fiction novels about women's power. She is also a speaker on issues including women's rights, free speech, and Islamophobia.

Her forthcoming novel, THE SHARP HOOK OF LOVE, tells of the forbidden love affair between two of the Middle Ages' greatest intellectu...more
More about Sherry Jones...
Four Sisters, All Queens The Sword of Medina White Heart The Sharp Hook of Love: A Novel of Heloise and Abelard Rapture: A Short Story

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“...but I realized now that love was more than a feeling. Love was something you did for another person...” 7 likes
“Trying to forge my own destiny had nearly destroyed me, but his love held the power to heal.” 4 likes
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