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The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters: From Bake Off winner to bestselling novelist

(Amir Sisters #1)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  967 ratings  ·  153 reviews
A moving and heart-warming modern British Muslim take on Little Women from growing star brand and former Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain.

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
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 25th 2018 by HQ (first published January 12th 2017)
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Emer (A Little Haze)
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.
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
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
Robin Stevens
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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. ...more
Shehzeen Muzaffar
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Light and heart warming. it was so easy to relate to the characters.
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where to begin...
Would you give up your daughter to your sister to raise as hers?
Do you see and understand the gap between generations in our families?
How far would you let tradition be, in the face of your own happiness.
Can you forgive...and keep loving, living. Them. Self.

This is a touching story of family, sisters and kinship.
The Amir sisters- Fatima, Farah, Bublee and Mae- bring to light life struggles and how dominant they can be when not addressed or lived through. One sister is adored by
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! ...more
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, fw, english, uk, 2017
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
Rachel Gilbey
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Emma Crowley
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As one of three sisters, I have always loved stories about sisters. Little Women has always been a favorite of mine as I could see me and my sisters in their stories.

Reading "The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters" felt similar. Unlike in Little Women, the Amir sisters are (almost) all adults, like my sisters and I are now, and their relationships, their simultaneous closeness and distance, felt very familiar. I enjoyed the way the perspectives shifted from one chapter to the next, allowing the r
Aqeelah Ally
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-contemporary
A sweet, heart-warming and occasionally frustrating read about family, identity and finding your voice <3

I always found marriage between cousins as rather... odd, even though it's a common aspect of my culture. It's because I cannot possibly imagine marrying any of my own cousins. That idea is, like Mae would say, vom. But this book makes it work. And I found Farah and Mustafa's relationship endearing and realistic.

I may be the only one, but I honestly thought of "The Secret Lives of the Amir Si
Abigail Hanna
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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! ...more
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
packed with humor and warmth
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this story! Excellent tale of friendship and family.
This was really fun as an audiobook - every sister has her own narrator. Especially Mae's was fun. ...more
noisy penguin
Nadiya is my favorite person ever from Great British Baking Show. Her novel was sweet, and I felt like her voice really came through.
biblio_mom (Aiza)
Wonderfully written, moving and humorous.

One of the most special and heart-warming read of 2020 for me. Narrated by The Amir Sisters; Fatima, Farah, Bubblee and Mae in separate chapters accordingly, with their own voices and different personalities, the Author just nailed it successfully without any doubts.

Each of the Amir Sisters has their very own struggles and dramas. Including Jay, the only son in the family. I love how the author provides solutions to each and every conflicts occured from
Tania Ferguson
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Bryn (Plus Others)
I enjoyed this very much -- it is exactly what it said on my copy, a feel-good novel about a Muslim family in Britain. It did not pay off in the ways I expected, so for me the ending felt a bit weak -- I wanted (view spoiler) But that is preference, not anything wrong with the novel itself. ...more
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
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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

Other books in the series

Amir Sisters (3 books)
  • The Fall and Rise of the Amir Sisters
  • The Hopes and Triumphs of the Amir Sisters

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