Adela's Reviews > Saffron Dreams

Saffron Dreams by Shaila M. Abdullah
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's review
Apr 25, 2011

it was amazing

In the eloquently written novel Saffron Dreams, Shaila Abdullah tells the painfully moving story of Arissa, a Pakistani-Muslim living in New York City. Arissa is left a mourning, pregnant widow after her husband tragically loses his life during the events of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Delve into the emotional turmoil that haunts Arissa following the loss of her husband and the onset of Islamophobia in America, causing Arissa to feel like an outcast in her own home, unsure of where she falls in the cultural make-up of our society. Saffron Dreams chronicles her evolving existence after the tragic loss of her husband as she struggles to move forward as a widow, a single mother, an American, a Muslim, all the while trying to rectify her place in society with these new titles and nuances thrust upon her.

Saffron Dreams is a poignant story that enables the reader to embrace a fresh, personal understanding of Muslim-Americans living in a post-9/11 world. The academic edition provides the reader with thought-provoking questions and both theme and chapter-specific talking points in order to stir discussions on racism, fundamentalism, feminist issues, and an understanding of Islam, separate from prejudices or preconceived notions. Perfect for course discussion starters, reading groups, or for your own benefit in pushing the limits of your intellectual bounds, challenging you to delve deeper into the meaningful issues this book brings to the surface.

Abdullah’s greatest success through this narrative is her ability to tug at her reader’s heartstrings and draw them into the shattered existence of her main character. You will be hanging on her every expressively written word as you join Arissa on her journey of mourning, healing, and pursuit of rebuilding an identity and existence for herself while creating a living legacy for the husband she has lost.

This telling tale is a must-read I would recommend to anyone interested in exploring an American identity story often under-expressed but important to grasp in today’s world.

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