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The Royal Abduls

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  141 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Ramiza Shamoun Koya reveals the devastating cost of anti-Muslim sentiment in The Royal Abduls, her debut novel about an Indian-American family. Evolutionary biologist Amina Abdul accepts a post-doc in Washington, DC, choosing her career studying hybrid zones over a faltering West Coast romance. Her brother and sister-in-law welcome her to the city, but their marriage is cr ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 2020
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  141 ratings  ·  85 reviews

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♛ may
Book 3 completed for #RamadanReadathon

I'm so sorry. I just...tried so hard to love this but it clearly wasn't for me.

Thank you, Netgalley for providing a copy of the ARC
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-releases
May 30, 2020: This ownvoices realistic fiction by a Muslim Indian-American woman easily bashes racial and religious stereotypes while focusing on the hard-hitting and important themes of discrimination, secularism, psychological impact of divorces on children, alcoholism, and finding one's identity when being expected to dedicate one's life for relationships. Easily recommendable!

March 6, 2020: So happy to read this literary fiction about the post 9/11 consequences that an Indian-American famil
May 07, 2020 rated it did not like it
[Thank you, NetGalley for providing a copy of the ARC]

This whole book was just completely incoherent. I am so disappointed because I really was quite excited for this story.

What I expected due to the Blurb:
A story about a muslim-indian family suffering under the anti-muslim sentiment which came up strongly in the US after 9/11.

What i received:
An incoherent and strange story about a family who identifies as atheist, has nothing at all to do with their roots or their ancestors religion, and doe
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This. This book. Today, tomorrow, forever. It’s such a true representation of what it’s like to live a bifurcated existence. Every character is flush, each subplot so beautifully constructed. I never wanted to leave this book’s world, and I wanted to be near all of its people.
May 02, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arc, contemporary, e-books
Unfortunately, this book just really didn't work for me.

[Thank you, NetGalley for providing a copy of the ARC]
Samia Abbasi
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: south-asian-rep
I received an ARC of The Royal Abduls from Forest Avenue Press. I absolutely enjoyed reading this book! Ramiza Shamoun Koya’s writing is cinematic and meditative. The novel explores the concept of feeling connected and what lengths we go to to create, maintain, and distance ourselves from connections, whether that’s person-to-person or person-to-identity. Given that it’s a long book that spans several years, the pacing did feel slow at parts, but I really appreciated the journey and the intentio ...more
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a heartfelt post-9/11 coming-of-age tale from the perspective of an 11-year-old boy; a boy with brown skin and a longing for a connection to the land that birthed his family: India. Amid anti-Muslim grumblings, Omar, his father Mohammed, and his aunt Amina try to manage their lives within the newly harsh focus from their peers, law enforcement, the government, and even family. Examining themes of emotional ties, solitude, tragedy, the thirst for self actualization, family, science, and l ...more
Amina Abdul is an evolutionary biologist who has recently moved to Washington DC from California for a post-doc & to be closer to her brother Mohammed and his family. She left behind a longterm relationship that faltered due to her lack of desire to have children and her tendency towards being workaholic. Her brother & sister-in-law welcome her to the city but their marriage is failing and they rely on her to keep their son Omar company. Omar is in the 6th grade at a private school where he is o ...more
'The Royal Abduls' is an absolutely superb book and one that left me feeling really sad that its author's debut book may well be her last. With writing of such high quality, I want more from Ramiza Shamoun Koya but this may well not be possible for her.

At the heart of the book is an unlikely heroine. Amina likes moths but isn't so crazy about people. She doesn't make friends easily, tries to avoid getting involved in romantic relationships, and gets involved with her own family rather reluctantl
Aug 07, 2020 rated it liked it
I thank NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I finished this book with a tear or two in my eyes...  The story is compelling, quietly gripping.  An evolutionary biologist, Amina, studies hybrid moths.  This metaphor is found in her own identity as a nonreligious Muslim Indian American as well as her biracial nephew's identity. It's a tension from internal forces and from external ones, esp a post 9-11 America.

The book alternates between Amina's story and her nephew's. The tone
Jonah Barrett
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I got an ARC of this rad lil’ novel, and damn it’s such a good read. It balances serious racist crap brown folks deal with in the USA with a fun dramatic story. The two characters at the center of this novel are 100% lovable and it was so nice to spend time with them in this book.
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this book. I opened it expecting a journey taking me through the injustice suffered by normal American Muslims post 9/11. What I read was so much deeper than that. This is a book about how difficult it is to just be human. The two main characters, Amina and her nephew Omar, are complex and so deeply normal human beings just trying to live and be happy. It is a very emotional journey following them as they navigate life. I learned more about the world and myself through their fi ...more
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
How I read this: Free ebook copy received through NetGalley

I feel like if I wanted to give The Royal Abduls a proper review, I’d have to write a whole other book about it – I just can’t see how I would put it all into a single-post review. This story was great, and it’s just so full of everything – it covers a large variety of topics, but the most important thing – it does it all very well. It’s not too much, and every subject goes in pretty deep.

In short, it’s a book about not knowing where you
Jessica Haider
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, netgalley, islam
The Royal Abduls is a novel about connections. The Royal Abduls is set in the years right after 9/11 when it was particularly tough to be be brown and Muslim in America. This novel is about the Abduls, an Indian American family. Amina Abdul is a scientist who has just moved to Washington DC from California to be closer to her brother Mo and his family. Amina has had a difficult time making friends for her whole life and is a bit put off when her brother & sister in law ask her to spend time with ...more
Zainub Reads
Mar 05, 2020 rated it did not like it
Biologist Amina Abdul moves to Washington, DC leaving a six-year relationship behind to complete her post-doc and also as a bonus be closer to her nephew, Omar.

Omar is fascinated by stories of his paternal Indian heritage and believes himself to belong to an India that is richly endowed with both culture and wealth.
Disturbed with the events of 9/11 he moves closer to his idea of belonging with Indians and takes on an Indian accent and spins a make-believe story of being royalty.

Meanwhile his par
Christina Butcher
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pnw-authors
What a beautiful book! I loved this books, start to finish, and was delighted that the main character is a smart, science and career focused WOC who doesn’t compromise their goals or aspirations to appease others. The characters are very relatable, and the writing is clean. This is a great read!
novelsnerd (Anshrah)
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Royal Abduls bravely counters the situation of Immigrants trying to survive in America. After 9/11 things changes drastically for Muslims, in particular. The story follows a small Indian-American family, each individual fighting their own battles.

Omar is confused child, being born into a house of brown Muslim father and a white mother, Onar constantly finds himself in a conflict of identity. I felt the worst for him, he only wanted to explore his roots, know where he came from, why he looked
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
I wanted to love this one. I really did... and feel badly that I could connect with any of the characters at all. The book synopsis says it the novel deals with post 9-11 race issues etc but truthfully it never even digs deep into that. If it had, I would have been more immersed into what this family was feeling in the aftermath. But the story dealt more with a second generation Indian-American who married a white woman and had a son. Their heritage is largely in the background and not discussed ...more
52% read in 2020.
Provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ok, so this one has me in a little bit of a pickle.
I actually quite enjoy the premise. I think it is a really smart book subject to look at an Indian American Muslim family in the aftermath of 9/11. The September 11 attacks were a massively impactful moment in US history and, especially for the younger and/or non-American readers (I was 8 years old in The Netherlands at the time), it is a part of the US timeline that we do n
Atharv G.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a review copy

I also posted this review on my book blog:

Ramiza Shamoun Koya’s debut novel is an emotional portrayal of a Hyderabadi American Muslim family and the struggles they face in post-9/11 America. The characters are lovingly drawn, and the conflicts they deal with never felt inorganic. The story is primarily told from the perspectives of Amina and her nephew Omar.

Amina is a post-doc in Biology who has recently taken up a new post in Washington,
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are in #COVID19 #socialisolation, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. (I have played a zillion games of scrabble, done a zillion crosswords and I AM BORED!!!)

I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the aut
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Check out the full review on my website. CLICK HERE




DISCLAIMER : Thank you, Netgalley and Forest Avenue Press for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily.

The Royal Abduls By Ramiza Shamoun Koya is a fantastic book that portrays the islamophobia, anti-muslim sentiment, and bigotry against people of color post 9/11 America in a realistic fashion. I had this book on my TBR for the longest
Victoria Rodríguez
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an adorable book, I really enjoyed it. Ramiza Sharmoun Koya's narrative kept me interested in the situations that Amina Abdul lived, a successful scientist who has grown up between two cultures, that of the United States and her own. She works in Washington DC, her brother, who lives in this city receives her at his home. Amina meets Omar, her nephew, who is very interested in their family past. Amina explains her nephew as much as she can, due to Omar's immense interest in learning the ...more
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was gifted a copy of this book by Net Galley and this is a book that hooked me from the first page. Once I started it was hard to stop. The book is an examination of career, love, family, parenting, Islamophobia and identity and how these things show up intimately in our relationships and imprint on our lives. The characters in this book do not hold religious identities themselves, but their names suggest otherwise, and so the author shows powerfully how xenophobia and Islamophobia impacts a p ...more
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In this gorgeously crafted novel, Koya has created characters so deeply human and alive that you feel a kind of familial love for them, and at times a desperation to find a portal into the book so you can be with them in their pain and loss. Omar is a character that we should all come to know in this current political climate of ours. Through Omar's grappling with identity and belonging in a divided family and splintered country, Koya takes us inside what it really means to feel "other". As some ...more
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What an important and enjoyable book. It deals with the complexities of family relationships, gender discrimination, and racial stereotypes, but in such a gentle and nuanced manner. Never preachy or whiny. No answers, just issues laid out in a way that will make you rethink what you think you know. I found Amina to be a sympathetic character and just want to give Omar a huge hug and tell him it will all be OK. The ending leaves you to fill in the blanks as you'd like, which is a treat and in no ...more
Cristie Underwood
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
This is a brilliant character driven novel. The writing is stellar and the realistic view of what life is like for immigrants in America post-9/11 was educational. The writing style doesn't come off as preachy, but the injustice that the characters experience comes through. ...more
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was another good and interesting read about the Muslim-Indian-American experience. It was hard not to compare it to Mirza's A Place for Us, which I read earlier in the year and liked better. Still Koya's story also keeps you turning the pages and is moving. ...more
Jun 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Physical book provided by Blackstone Publishing for my honest review.

When I started off this book, I was surprised by how much I was enjoying it and how certain cultural references or knowledge in the book were things I knew or resonated with. I think that this book had a lot of potential, and I did appreciate what it was trying to get at, but it could have been executed a little better. The writing style was good, a little clunky at times, but still good. The characters in the book were what I
Mohit Goel
Apr 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC for review.

The story is about second and third generation Indian Muslims caught between their ancestral heredity and the country that they were born in.

I have mixed feelings about the book and wavered between 3 and 2.5 stars. While the story was interesting, the main character seemed a little weak and very indecisive. What annoyed me the most was that the chapter told from the 11 yr old kid's perspective make him seem like a 5 year old. His inner thoughts
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Ramiza Koya is the author of The Royal Abduls, from Forest Avenue Press and was the Director of Youth Programs at Literary Arts. She earned he MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and her fiction and nonfiction appeared in publications such as Columbia Review, Lumina, Washington Square Review, and Mutha Magazine. She had been a fellow at both MacDowell Colony and Blue Mountain Center. Her father was bo ...more

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