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The Royal Abduls

4.65  ·  Rating details ·  20 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Ramiza Shamoun Koya reveals the devastating cost of anti-Muslim sentiment in The Royal Abduls, her debut novel about an Indian-America 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 ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 2020
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Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This. This book. Today, tomorrow, forever. Its such a true representation of what its like to live a bifurcated existence. Every character is flush, each subplot so beautifully constructed. I never wanted to leave this books world, and I wanted to be near all of its people. ...more
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 Koyas 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 thats person-to-person or person-to-identity. Given that its a long book that spans several years, the pacing did feel slow at parts, but I really appreciated the journey and the ...more
Jonah Barrett
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I got an ARC of this rad lil novel, and damn its 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. ...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 ...more
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 ...more
Christina Butcher
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 doesnt compromise their goals or aspirations to appease others. The characters are very relatable, and the writing is clean. This is a great read! ...more
Mar 05, 2020 marked it as definitive-tbr
March 6, 2020: So happy to read this literary fiction about the post 9/11 consequences that an Indian-American family have had to face. Thank you so much, Forest Avenue Press for the digital review copy via Netgalley!
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 ...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
The Traveller Of Books Zainub
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
D.L. Fowler
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Koya explores the steep cost of cultural assimilation through the experiences of a family that descends from a region caught up in controversy and misunderstanding. The Abduls are almost indistinguishable from the rest of society, except for their names. Two generations of Abduls have already discarded their heritage to blend with their adopted culture. It is the third generations youthful curiosity about the familys hushed heritage that draws their individual and collective pain to the surface. ...more
Ilyssa Wesche
Mar 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was rooting for all the characters, especially Omar (of course) and also the bookstore owning boyfriend whose name escapes me. He was the only one who seemed to know who he was, and was able to progress and mature. It was the family drama I love to read with an overlay of American racism post-9/11. I felt so sad for Amina, and the little glimpse of hope at the end was such a relief.
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to #NetGalley and #ForestAvenuePress for the advanced readers copy!

The Royal Abduls centers around the bond between Amina, an overthinking self sabotaging botanical scientist, and her nephew Omar, an lonely middle schooler outcast. Each brief chapter is narrated in turn by one of these two loveable if frustrating characters as they struggle to figure out the family's Indian heritage, Islamophobia, divorce and death.

What I loved the most was the way Koya was able to successfully
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