Valley Cottage Library's Reviews > American Dervish

American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar
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's review
Apr 12, 12

really liked it
bookshelves: katie-pick, book-talk-cafe-apr-2012

American Dervish is an at times intense, yet readable and complex story of a young Muslim kid growing up in the Midwest. Hayat, born to somewhat secular Pakistani Muslim parents, begins to have an increasing interest in Islam when his mother's best friend Mina moves in with them. With strong admiration for Mina, Hayat goes to her to learn how to become a proper Muslim. His new-found faith begins to dominate his life as he strives to become one of the elite few who memorize the Quran in order to ensure that he and his parents will go to heaven.

This book seems to be a very honest, warts-and-all glimpse into Islam in the United States. (I read somewhere that the story is semi-autobiographical). While Hayat is ultimately a sympathetic character, there were times where I really got angry with him, but still wanted everything to turn out OK.

Recommended for fans of Jhumpa Lahiri because of its ability to show the disjointed lives of people living between the old world and the new.

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