Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)'s Reviews > Lyrics Alley

Lyrics Alley by Leila Aboulela
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's review
May 08, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: africa, orange-prize, sudan, 2011
Read from April 26 to May 08, 2011

As with Minaret (Aboulela's first novel) I struggled a little with the moral implications of Lyrics Alley. The writing is smooth and often lovely, and I warmed to the characters almost immediately: the sisters, Fatma and Soraya, at the mercy of their old-fashioned father Idris; their uncle, Mahmoud, head of their family dynasty, and his paralysed son, Nur. The teacher, Ustaz Badr too. But, while I liked them immensely, I found it difficult to engage with their narrative arcs, and the cultural, religious and gender determinism that characterises Aboulela's world-view. So while I found the novel very tender, very gentle and often subtle, the life-philosophy at its heart proved impossible to connect with.

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Reading Progress

04/30/2011 page 170
04/30/2011 page 170
53.0% "A far more compelling and interesting novel than anticipated. Like Aboulela's debut, Minaret, it engages with some discomforting ideas about the role of women. But just beautiful in parts though."
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