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The Tower

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  34 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Reem is a Syrian refugee who has arrived in London, trying to discover the whereabouts of her 10-year old brother, Adar. Obsessed with history and consumed by her fragmented memories of home, Reem is also hiding secrets she hopes will never be revealed.

After being placed in a tower block, she befriends Leah; a single mother who has been forced to leave her expensive South
Paperback, 262 pages
Published April 17th 2019 by Beacon Books and Media Ltd
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  34 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Jun 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
I don’t think I have agonised over a book review quite as I have over this one. The Tower was our book club nomination for June and one that as group we had felt strongly about supporting as a way to commemorate and keep spotlighted the tragedy of Grenfell, when (officially) 72 live were lost in a fire that was entirely avoidable, 2 years ago.⁣

The story is a fictional account of the lives of two very different women, Reem and Leah whose lives are uprooted and thrown into chaos in completely opp
Sheima Sumer
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Tower Will Captivate Your Heart!
The Tower by Shereen Malherbe is a superbly written, movie-like novel about the tragic lives of two brave women. The Tower was heart-pounding, heart-warming, and heart-wrenching.
You really connect to all of the characters and feel a part of their family.
I loved The Tower’s vivid imagery, especially the mouth-watering descriptions of Middle Eastern food.
The Tower gives a human face to the war in Syria, as well as to Muslims. It is a much needed book in today’
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: muslim-reads
The Tower is Shereen Malherbe's newest contemporary novel. It takes place in the UK and is loosely based on the Grenfell Tower fire, in which 72 people died when the social housing complex was destroyed. This quiet and contemplative novel is told from the alternating points of view of two women who move into the building from very different lives.

Leah is English. Her husband died last year, and she has been living with her parents in their posh Kensington house while still in the fog of her grie
Apr 10, 2019 rated it liked it
A full review can be found on my blog, Headscarves and Hardbacks!

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review!

This is a heart-warming novel that answers the complex question of what it means to call a place home. Alternating between the viewpoints of Reem and Leah, two women who strike an unlikely friendship, the novel explores themes of poverty, racism, Islamophobia, immigration and the social class divide.

The tower is not so much a p
Nov 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
I was looking forward to reading this due to other positive online reviews, but the book turned out to be unsatisfying and badly constructed. I'll preface this with the SPOILER ALERT callout as I will be talking about specifics from within the text, but there's little for me to spoil as I wouldn't recommend you buy/read this.

This was released around the anniversary of Grenfell and I did worry at the time of buying it that it was trying to cash in on that event. Having read it, the story is a lit
Abdallah Dais
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shereen Malherbe, in her novel The Tower, is remarkably able to bring a diverse world to interact within the limited space of a tower in northern London as well as the wide scope of the globe. She has managed to produce from this world of beauty and ugliness; courage and cowardice; loyalty and betray; innocence and culpability; tolerance and bigotry, a tale of affliction, excitement, happiness, despair, aggression, hate and love, all blended harmonically to lead the reader through an amazing exp ...more
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The Tower is a fast-paced book full of unexpected events. From the beginning, Malherbe throws the reader right in the middle of each characters’ tumultuous lives. Reem is fleeing the violence plaguing her Syrian homeland and Leah is fleeing the shackles of her self-centered, overbearing parents. By the time they become neighbors, both women are penniless and desperate to get back on their feet. Malherbe slowly reveals details of the characters’ backstories over the course of the novel. It’s up t ...more
Papatia Feauxzar
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Tower published by Beacon Books is the second contemporary women’s fiction novel written by Shereen Malherbe; a British Palestinian writer based in both the UK and the United Arab Emirates. Shereen Malherbe is also a writer for Muslimah Media Watch, a forum for critiquing the images of Muslim women in the media and pop culture.

In The Tower, Malherbe explores fictionalized real events and realities such as the Grenfell tower incident, the remnants of the war in the Middle East and women's me
Shereen Malherbe
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Hi everyone, thank you to all the readers who share their time to read this book. It belongs to you all from this point forward.
Asma MN
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I started reading ‘The Tower’ exactly a week before the sad anniversary of the Grenfell tower tragedy. I finished it on the eve of it’s anniversary.

‘The Tower’ destroyed me. The story is fraught with emotions and it’s pages are full of suspenseful situations at every turn. The author has written the description of the event with so much emotion and details that I felt like I was standing with the two main characters from beginning to end; their pain was my pain. After I finished reading, I had
Farah Zaman
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Tower is a beautifully written saga of two women's journey to find themselves. The story begins deceptively mild but becomes progressively gut-wrenching as it unfolds. It explores the harsh realities of life, the horrors of war and the struggle to survive in a world in which you are a stranger. Ms. Malherbe's writing is a pleasure to read. Her vivid imagery and her ability to get into her characters' head will keep you riveted until the end. Highly recommend! ...more
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diverse-books
The story of two very unlike young women who come to live in a tower like Grenfell - for me it was a must-read and I highly recommand it.
I was a bit undecided if I should not rate it 5 stars, but it was not that much perfect. The characters are great, still I found some a bit missing out.
Michele Glover
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Once I picked this book up I couldn't put it down till I had read the last page. Wonderful writer that takes you on a journey into each character so that you live the story as you read it. Top notch can't wait for her next book ...more
Zarina Marsaleh
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you to Beacon Books for the ARC, much appreciated.

There are two things that I value about this book. Firstly it exposes us to the experience of a Syrian refugee fleeing the country - how many dreams had to be suppressed, the desperate measures for survival, the deceive and the associated traumas. Secondly The Tower weaves elements of Islamic beliefs and values, which could serve as an introduction or answers to some of the questions that readers had in mind.

I believe it is only my personal
Rana Asfour
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very timely and wonderful read. My review can be found here:
Shareef Zighary
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly enjoyable read that will captivate you from start to finish and send you through a spiral of emotions. A must recommend!
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Shereen Malherbe is a British Palestinian author. After spending over a decade living throughout the Middle East, Shereen now resides in England with her husband and four children.

Shereen has been a writer and researcher for various organisations and also appears on TV discussing literature and Muslim representation, resulting in her classification in the Media Diversified experts directory.


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