I picked up this book because I thought it would be as good/entertaining as The Hunger Games. I.Was.Wrong. Is it a fast (and semi-amusing read)? ->...moreI picked up this book because I thought it would be as good/entertaining as The Hunger Games. I.Was.Wrong. Is it a fast (and semi-amusing read)? -> Sure. Is it imaginative? -> Far from it. Creative? -> Not really. Setting is bleak, and characters are blah. Will I read the sequel? Sure, why not. Veronica is a young author with a lot to learn, but I'm sure she's on the right path. Five stars for trying. (less)
I think this book may be a semi-life changing for me, seeing that I could find bits and pieces of my own personality in pretty much every character.(I...moreI think this book may be a semi-life changing for me, seeing that I could find bits and pieces of my own personality in pretty much every character.(I see self pity from a whole new point of view.) Also - the thing I admired the most in this book is that the characters (especially women) are so well portrayed. Too well perhaps. Depressingly well. I want to read this book again in a few years and see/feel how things have changed.(less)
Empowering, Eye-opening and Inspirational. This is an amazing book, and I highly recommend it to every woman of every religions belief. Here are a few...moreEmpowering, Eye-opening and Inspirational. This is an amazing book, and I highly recommend it to every woman of every religions belief. Here are a few quotes that really overwhelmed me:
If you are a Somali woman you must learn to tell yourself that God is just and all-knowing and will reward you in the Hereafter. Meanwhile, everyone who knows about your patience and endurance will applaud your father and mother on the excellence of your upbringing. Your brothers will be grateful to you for preserving their honor. They will boast to other families about your heroic submission. And perhaps, eventually, your husband's family will appreciate your obedience, and your husband may one day treat you as a fellow human being. If in the process of being baarri you feel grief, humiliation, fatigue, or a sense of everlasting exploitation, you hide it. If you long for love and comfort, you pray in silence to Allah to make your husband more bearable. Prayer is your strength. Nomadic mothers must try to give their daughters this skill and strength called baarri.
A woman who is baarri is like a pious slave. She honors her husband's family and feeds them without question or complaint. She never whines or makes demands of any kind. She is strong in service, but her head is bowed. If her husband is cruel, if he rapes her and then taunts her about it, if he decides to take another wife, or beats her, she lowers her gaze and hides her tears. And she works hard, faultlessly. She is a devoted, welcoming, well-trained work animal. This is baarri.
When I was asked for my opinion, I explained that Islam was like a mental cage. At first, when you open the door, the caged bird stays inside: it is frightened. It has internalized its imprisonment. It takes time for the bird to escape, even after someone has opened the doors to its cage.
It was Friday, July 24, 1992, when I stepped on the train. Every year I think of it. I see it as my real birthday: the birth of me as a person, making decisions about my life on my own. I was not running away from Islam, or to democracy. I didn't have any big ideas then. I was just ayoung girl and wanted some way to be me; so I bolted into the unknown.