Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters” as Want to Read:
The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  557 ratings  ·  103 reviews
The four Amir sisters – Fatima, Farah, Bubblee and Mae – are the only young Muslims in the quaint English village of Wyvernage.

On the outside, despite not quite fitting in with their neighbours, the Amirs are happy. But on the inside, each sister is secretly struggling.

Fatima is trying to find out who she really is – and after fifteen attempts, finally pass her driving tes

Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published January 12th 2017 by HQ
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  557 ratings  ·  103 reviews

Sort order
When Nadiya Hussain entered the BBC television competition The Great British Bake Off in 2015 she not only won the top prize but also stole the hearts of everyone who watched that series. This is her first foray into light fiction and what a debut it is! That same warmth and humanity that she showed on T.V. shines through in this novel. However it must be noted that at the beginning of the book it states that this was written by Nadiya with Ayisha Malik, and Nadiya thanks her in her acknowledgem ...more
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
I was really doing all I could to like this book. The first half is painfully slow with the same bland everyday themes repeating themselves over and over. Nothing really was happening? What was the story?

The latter half was somewhat improved but overall this is a very disappointing read. It's being published with high expectations on the author from an adoring public who are fans of her cooking books and Great British Bakeoff success. For those feats I say bravo! This lady can make a cake! Inspi
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Firstly, let me make clear my bias. I am a lover of The Great British Bakeoff, and I'm still upset about the changes to the show coming for the next series and don't know how I feel about it, and one of our family favourites from the show was Nadiya, my Dad called it right at the start, he thought there was something about her and sure enough he was right. When I saw this book at the library there was very little chance I wasn't going to love it.

This book is told from the perspective of the four
Light and frothy, with wonderfully illustrated, totally familiar dysfunction in each member of the Amir family.
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is the debut from Nadiya Hussain – the winner of Great British Bake Off 2015. I’ve noticed that Nadiya has dipped into creative writing before with her Bake Me A Story which is a recipe book accompanied by original stories but this is her first full-length novel.

The story is centred around the Amir Sisters, living in a small English village. Fatima is in her thirties and has failed her driving test fifteen times and gains her income from being a hand model, Mae is a teenager with a Yo
If the primary author’s name sounds familiar, she is the Nadiya from Great British Baking. This is her first novel, and it was written with Ayisha Malik.

The book centers on four sisters – Fatima, Bubblee, Farah, and Mae. Bubblee and Farah are twins. The title is somewhat misleading as what secrets there are not really the sister’s (honesty, the one you think might be Bubblee’s never shows) but those of their family. Additionally, the book is almost wrapped about too neatly – though a couple plo
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, english, fw, kindle, uk
I love Nadiya Hussain. If you are a fan of The Great British Bake Off, you probably love her too. Nadiya was the winner in 2015, and she is, by all accounts the most popular winner in the history of the show. Charming, warm, funny, self-deprecating and gifted with a marvelously expressive face, she made all of us fall in love with her.

Since winning TGBBO, Nadiya has published a cookbook (which I received as a surprise present last week from a lovely friend who lives in England), presented a TV s
Lightning review at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

One of the important things that books do for us is provide a window into other lives. What Nadiya Hussain does in her debut novel is give us a window into a Bangladeshi family that lives in a small village in England, with four daughters (and a son) and a number of secrets.

What I liked about this is how normal this family was in all of their messiness. There’s some melodrama, and some of it derives from their Bangladeshi roots, but most of it is ca
Imagine every possible South Asian family stereotype you can, throw them all together and you'll get this book.

The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters tells the story of a Muslim British Bangladeshi family and how they get by in their quiet English village. Narrated through the voices of four sisters of varying ages, framed by their contrasting and sometimes clashing personalities we get a glimpse into their daily lives.

Yes this book is full of clichés and drama, and I did find that the story drag
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
Surprisingly enjoyable read full of family drama. But then again, I enjoyed Ayisha Malik's "Sofia Khan" book!
Rachel Gilbey
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, and found it gave me an interesting insight to a Bangladeshi family that lives in England, and its a fusion of Easts meets West.

The Amir sisters are all very different people, and the narrative is split into all four of the sisters, for a chapter focusing on each at a time. The one thing they all have in common is they don't tell their parent's everything and all seem just a bit frustrated about how their brother appears to be the favourite at all times, despite bein
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
So I recently finished this one. And wow! I read all of it including the acknowledgments 😊 And I thought, this woman can cook, bake and write too #MashaAllah ----
The four Amir sisters – Fatima, Farah, Bubblee and Mae are Bangladeshi Muslims in the English village of Wyvernage. On the outside, everyone looks like they have it together, but on the inside, each sister is secretly struggling.
Fatima just doesn't fit in and cannot just seem to pass her driving test. Farah is happyily married but longs
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-reader, net-galley
I approached this story with trepidation: Nadiya Hussain is an engaging, charming and likeable person on TV, but that does not mean she can tell a story and not all celebrities can write. I was relieved to find myself quickly immersed and engrossed in the secret lives of the Amir sisters (from the only brown family in the small community of Wyvernage). The book explores themes of identity, family, love, culture and expectations. A major crisis has repercussions for each of the sisters as secrets ...more
Robin Stevens
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved Ayisha Malik's Sofia Khan is Not Obliged, I loved Nadiya Hussain on Bake Off, and so for me this book represents a total dream team of Muslim female talent. That in itself feels like something special, and much-needed, and happily what they've produced is a story that's a lovely look at the life of a British Muslim family. It's gentle and sweet, and I had a great time reading it. In a market that's full of books about the lives of white middle-class women, the Amirs make a wonderful chan ...more
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Usually South Asian narratives really strike my fancy and this is a story about a Bengali family whose mindset is a lot like that of Pakistanis. There are four sisters, one's an artistic feminist, her twin has a contrasting personality, a softie eldest who is over nurtured and overfed, and the youngest is a social media fanatic. Each have chapters unto themselves and the story moves with a brilliant pace.
Shehzeen Muzaffar
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Light and heart warming. it was so easy to relate to the characters.
Emma Crowley
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Nadiya Hussain was the popular winner of The Great British Bake Off two years ago and endeared herself to the nation. She has written some cookbooks and even made her own documentary charting her journey back to India which proved to make for very enjoyable viewing. Now she is turning her hand to fiction with Ayisha Malik whom it was nice to see get a mention within the introductory pages. I think there is nothing worse than 'celebs' writing books and passing them off as their own when there has ...more
Abigail Hanna
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don't usually read books about normal family life as I prefer fantasy and adventure but I really love Nadiya and I wanted to try her book. I read it over two days whilst snowed in and really enjoyed it, the characters were all interesting and while it's not my normal choice of novel I'm glad I branched out and tried it!
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
packed with humor and warmth
Tania Ferguson
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading this book. It is a book that talks more about feelings and emotions. Needless to say, it is not a fast paced kind of reading. But there are one or two twists that brought it to life. A beautiful story of family life and the struggles of fitting in.
I received a copy via Net Galley.

This story follows the lives of four sisters whose family is from Bangladesh. I really liked the aspect of family that is in this book. It is very much focused on family rather than romance which made a refreshing change. Each chapter is told from the perspective of a different sister. Sometimes I had to go back to remind which sister we were following as it wasn't always clear. I thought that each sister felt very realistic, they weren't perfect characters and
May 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Right, I bought this book a couple months ago and I forgot the summary so when I opened it, after the first pages I was like "right, this is Fatima's POV and she's a teen." Except no, she was thirty. Now, obviously there's nothing wrong with reading the POV of a thirty-year old; there is however an issue when people don't really seem to be the age they're supposed to be.

From that first chapter that I became a bit reticent to finish the book, truth be told, but I already had it and it was small a
I was intriguing to read this, being the debut from Bake Off winner Nadiya. The story of four sisters, young Bangladeshi women trying to make their way in the world, live up to their parents expectations and whose family is brought together when tragedy strikes.
Initially I enjoyed this book but sadly after about half way I started to lose interest. There just seemed to be something lacking for me and I couldn't connect with any of the characters. The story is told from the perspective of each si
Jan 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, kindle, net-galley
Having watched Nadiya win The Great British Bake Off I eagerly requested this book. It follows four sisters with differing personalities with a Bangladeshi background. Nadiya said she was keen to write the type of book she would have been keen to read growing up and that she wanted to write about what she knows.
Apparently she has been writing since she was a young girl and has said that there are plenty of stories that could see the light of day!
The characters were fairly well drawn- you got to
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book. But there was so much going on plot wise, it made it difficult to connect with the characters or care about what was happening to them. It reminded me of the problems of "The Other Half of Happiness" by Ayisha Malik because the downside of that book was that so much was happening, it was difficult to hold onto the plot.
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Unbelievably slow book. There was absolutely no resolution, and overall a big disappointment. I liked the concept of a muslim family and the things they get up to, but secret lives? What secret lives? I think this book wanted to be complex but it fell flat.

Give it a miss.
Maryam Nooruddin
Dec 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
I was trying really hard to get involved in this story but couldn't. Stereotypical characters, predictable twists & worst of all, pace slower than a turtle.
Dec 09, 2018 rated it liked it
‘The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters’ follows the journey of four sisters - Fatima, Farah, Bubblee and Mae. Each woman faces similar challenges of seeking acceptance and fighting for change, but it’s only a family tragedy that forces them to come together. They are pushed to let go of past resentments and learn about their faith, themselves, each other, forgiveness and to bond as a family.

My top three thoughts on ‘The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters’:
1. I didn’t know that the author had won ‘T
I picked up this book because of the GBBO and I liked the sound of the summary. When I saw it in my library, I snatched it up. There were good and bad points.

I really liked all the characters, especially the four sisters. Thanks to the switching POVs, you got to know each of the sisters' perspectives and you could empathise with each and every sister. Bubblee's words sounded insensitive from Farah's perspective but in her own POV chapter, you could see what she meant and why she said it. Mae ma
Jo-anne Atkinson
Jan 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Growing up in the English village of Wyvernage, the Amir family are used to being the only Asian family around. Each of the sibling has their own issues: Fatima is overweight and cannot seem to pass her driving test even with the help of her long-suffering instructor Ash; Farah is happily married but cannot get pregnant; Bubblee has moved to London and is determined to avoid having a marriage arranged by the family; only son Jahangeer mysteriously will not say what his job is and is in contact r ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Cannonball Readers: Which books do you think would make a great tv series? 2 7 Feb 14, 2019 06:35AM  
  • Sunny Side Up: a story of kindness and joy
  • Alanatomy: the Inside Story
  • The Happy Hoofer
  • Fibber in the Heat
  • The Llama Parlour
  • The Moneypenny Diaries: Guardian Angel
  • No Sex in the City
  • Hope  & Glory: The Days That Made Britain
  • Out of Eden (The McGraws, #1)
  • God Collar
  • Fry's English Delight: Series 1 (Fry's English Delight, #1)
  • Breakfast Under a Cornish Sun
  • Love Comes Later
  • What the **** is Normal?!
  • The Two of Us: My Life with John Thaw
  • 10-Minute Digital Declutter: The Simple Habit to Eliminate Overwhelm from Technology, Social Media, and Online Distractions
  • Darjeeling: The Colorful History and Precarious Fate of the World's Greatest Tea
  • May Contain Nuts
Nadiya Hussain is a British baker, columnist, author and television presenter. The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters is her debut novel.

Hussain was born to a British Bangladeshi family in Luton, where she grew up. She developed her interest in cooking while at school and largely self-educated herself in cooking by reading recipe books and watching instructional videos on YouTube. She married and mo