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

Seven

by
4.42  ·  Rating details ·  71 ratings  ·  29 reviews
A rich, soulfully written novel about inheritance and resistance that tests the balance between modern and traditional customs.


When Sharifa accompanies her husband on a marriage-saving trip to India, she thinks that she's going to research her great-great-grandfather, a wealthy business leader and philanthropist. What captures her imagination is not his rags-to-riches stor
...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published August 1st 2020 by Dundurn
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 Seven, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Seven

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  71 ratings  ·  29 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Seven
Fanna
Mar 06, 2020 marked it as definitive-tbr
Shelves: 2020-releases
March 7, 2020: "balance between modern and traditional customs" I'm so ready to read this women's fiction that gives a spotlight to feminists. Thank you, Dundurn Press for the digital review copy via Netgalley!
Jade  - theelderbooks
Seven is an important book. It deals with a traditional, yet very contemporary topic : Female Genital Mutilation. I'll shorten it to FGM throughout this review.

Sharifa goes to India to explore her heritage, and create a genealogy tree around Abdoolally (hoping I'm spelling it right, I'm horrible at this), as she gets curious about the various wives he had, that aren't really included in the family history. However, she ends up doing way more than this, and she uncovers the truth about the FGM's
...more
Michelle Jacobsen
"... while the men might have made the rules, it is the women, women I've loved, who've enforced them."

Since finishing Seven last night I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this line and the way the book ended. Doctor has written a powerhouse novel about the Dawoodi-Bohra community, a community that I was previously was not familiar with. The way the characters were portrayed and especially the way that Khatna (female genital mutilation) was discussed will resonate with the reader long af
...more
Surbhi Sinha
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
"... while the men might have made the rules, it is the women, women I've loved, who've enforced them."

When I read the synopsis of the book, I was a bit hesitant about reading the book as I felt it might be a very heavy read but as I made my way through Sharifa's life, I couldn't get myself to put the book down!

Sharifa is a school teacher in Manhattan who lives with her husband - Murtuza and her 7 year old daughter - Zeenat. While life for her is passing by fairly well she seems to be bored of h
...more
Toronto Bibliophile
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading SEVEN by Farzana Doctor, a new to me Canadian author. Official publication date was yesterday September 5th, 2020.

Sharifa and her seven year old daughter Zee are joining her husband Murtuza on a work trip to India. Sharifa plans to research her great-great-grandfather Abdoolally, a wealthy and generous business man while she is there. But what actually captures her attention is not his story, but rather the story of his four wives.

Sharifa's trip also happens during a time o
...more
Mridula
Aug 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
*Spoilers ahead*

I picked up this book to prepare a bit for our local online literary festival expected this fall. I didn't quite know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised. The tale focuses on Sharifa, her family (both nuclear and extended), and friends as they negotiate the terrain of khatna (female genital cutting) as it was/is practiced in India.

Doctor uses a thoughtful feminist gaze with engaging characters and we're given the full spectrum of of how women respond to this practice. I l
...more
Zainub Reads
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sharifa, a teacher by profession takes a hiatus from work and accompanies her husband, Murtuza, a professor, on a work trip of eight months to Mumbai, India along with their seven year old daughter.

They belong to the Dawoodi-Bohra community which is a lesser know sub-sect of the Shias.

While on her vacation Sharifa is intrigued by the life and times of her great-great-grandfather who was known Patriarch and she sets on about uncovering his past and rediscovering her own roots in the process.

The B
...more
Zainub Reads
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sharifa, a teacher by profession takes a hiatus from work and accompanies her husband, Murtuza, a professor, on a work trip of eight months to Mumbai, India along with their seven year old daughter.

They belong to the Dawoodi-Bohra community which is a lesser know sub-sect of the Shias.

While on her vacation Sharifa is intrigued by the life and times of her great-great-grandfather who was known Patriarch and she sets on about uncovering his past and rediscovering her own roots in the process.

The B
...more
mango_vodka
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Farzana Doctor's Seven follows Sharifa, an American-born member of the Dawoodi Bohra religious sect, through a journey of self-discovery as she comes to terms with issues related to religion, family, tradition, and sexuality. This incredible story has a lot to offer, and I really struggle to come up with a single criticism.

Sharifa and her family, including husband Murtuza and seven year old daughter Zee, travel to their ancestral home of India - Murtuza to teach at a university, and Sharifa to
...more
Shae
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Synopsis:

A rich, soulfully written novel about inheritance and resistance that tests the balance between modern and traditional customs.

When Sharifa accompanies her husband on a marriage-saving trip to India, she thinks that she’s going to research her great-great-grandfather, a wealthy business leader and philanthropist. What captures her imagination is not his rags-to-riches story, but the mystery of his four wives, missing from the family lore. She ends up excavating much more than she had im
...more
catherine ♡
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cultural
*Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a free copy in exchange for an honest review!*

Actual Rating: 3.75

I knew this was going to be a harrowing book just based off of the topic of khatna, the tradition of female genital cutting in India. But I didn't expect the story to go into such depth about the mental and family consequences as well, and those turned out to be my favorite parts.

The book follows Sharifa, who heads to India for two reasons: to research her philanthropist and business l
...more
MiA
Sep 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I know that this book will prove difficult to read to many, but if you are willing to give it a little time and effort to understand the huge issue that lies at its core it will be very much worth your sweat.

Sharifa takes a hiatus to join her husband, an academic, who is offered an opportunity to teach a course in India. Returning to their ancestral land brings Sharifa back to her extended family and her two cousins, one of whom is an outspoken feminist and the other is more of a non-questioning
...more
Stacey Caldarone
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Seven
“A brave, soulfully written feminist novel about inheritance and resistance that tests the balance between kinship and the fight against customs that harm us.”

I have to admit, I felt emotionally saddened after reading this book. It was so empowering, but it was also so unsettling. This book touches on topics I’ve never read about before in a book and touched on serious topics I didn’t realize were still culture. Thank you so much to Dundurn books for this opportunity.

This books follows a fa
...more
Liza
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story shook me. It is powerful, gripping, and intimate on a level I’ve never experienced before. As a woman/feminist, I was thrilled to read about Sharifa, an imperfect wife and mother learning to take control of her sexuality, galvanized by an emotionally intelligent male figure (her husband). As a reader, I was equally pleased to meet a character so multifaceted, dynamic, and real. I was hooked from the beginning--Sharifa, an Indian-American woman, travels to India, embarks on a genealogi ...more
Susanne
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2020
Thank you to the author, Dundurn Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

An Indian-American couple heads back to India for a year, with the husband teaching at university, and the wife home-schooling their young daughter and embarking on a research project around a prominent ancestor, who worked his way up from extreme poverty to become a benefactor for schools and hospitals. Before they leave the US, we gain a bit of insight into their relationship as a couple, which has
...more
A.L. Goulden
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book that gives me chills thinking about it. I knew so little about Female Genital Mutilation but this book presents the tradition from a traditional and modern perspective and allows the reader to feel their way through the process of acceptance or rejection. The writing is beautiful and tasteful. For such a heavy subject I wasn't expecting to feel a sense of wonder and feathery flow that had me reluctant to put the book down. I was actually worried that the book may be heavy ...more
Laura
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a page turner! I started reading and could not sleep - As with all really good books, I rushed to the end and now I am sad it is over.

I found myself very involved with, because I identified a lot with the main character of the book. Specifically, I found her struggle for balance, comprehension, peace and doing the right thing in untenable circumstances to be completely believable. This need for balance struck a personal cord with me.
I also identified with her quest to find the story of
...more
Annie
Jul 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sharifa is an Indian American. Like many immigrants, Sharifa and her family have mixed and matched traditional Dawoodi Bohra traditions with American ones. She and her husband met and married for love—but they chose each other from the small pool of Bohra Indians in New York. Their daughter is taught at a secular school, but is still taught about the Bohra Muslim faith. As Seven, by Farzana Doctor, opens, Sharifa and her family are preparing to return to Mumbai for a year. Like so many others, e ...more
Erin
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ARC from NetGalley and Dundurn Press in exchange for an honest review.
Wow... this book was definitely out of my comfort zone. It touches on a subject I know very little about and I honestly feel everyone should read it. Women and men need to be aware of FGM. This novel brought it to my attention is a very clever way. The entire time you are hoping and rooting for closure for Sharifa and Murtuza. When you find out why it is called Seven, it will make you gasp... It did for me. The story about Ab
...more
Kristi
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Blown away by this book. Absolutely in my top reads of 2020. Sharifa's struggle to reconcile her memories of her past, and her love for her country and family with the realities she discovers as an adult is incredibly moving. If you loved The Break by Katherena Vermette or Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda add this novel to the top of your list ASAP.
Sharon Reiner
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An important, powerful book illuminating a topic that needs more exposure. Beautifully written by one of Canada’s most brilliant and insightful authors. Thank you for this gift.
Carol Sperling
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow.
emmy
Jul 19, 2020 marked it as unread-digital  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
Featured in a blog post at https://booksbeyondbinaries.blog/2020... (July 20th release) ...more
emmy
Aug 08, 2020 marked it as blog-recs
This book reviewed in a blog post at https://booksbeyondbinaries.blog/2020... ...more
Kaffeeklatsch and Books
An extremely important book featuring FGM.
I still don't understand how somebody can even think FGM is necessary or should still be practised. Another example of how patriarchal society suppresses women's power and sexuality.
I liked the generational and family research idea as plotline, but sometimes I was quite confused following different timelines and that extra something was missing to make it an exceptional reading experience.
However, I can recommend this to anybody who's interested in FGM t
...more
Sonia
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A stunning, nuanced book - I devoured it in a day. A difficult topic, but struck through with humour, heart, compassion, empathy. Farzana Doctor navigates the familial and community relationships with grace and precision. Beautiful.
Good Book Fairy
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-read
4.5
All women must read!
Seven is a must read for women everywhere. The topic of female circumcision is not often at the center of a book, but Farzana Doctor puts it all out there with a well-crafted, informative and important novel.
For full review: visit https://goodbookfairy.com/seven-by-fa...
...more
Anuja
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Note that this review was originally published in the Fall 2020 issue of THIS Magazine

Seven begins with burnt-out teacher Sharifa unraveling a family mystery more than a century old. But delving into the past forces Shari to ask painful questions about her present-day life, her body, and if the cost of keeping family secrets is ultimately worth paying.

Moving seamlessly between past and present, Farzana Doctor’s new novel brings to light the issue of khatna or female genital cutting, through the
...more
Shashi
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Sharifa goes to India to learn more about her family - specifically her grandfather and his wives - she is confronted by the stunning truth that many of the challenges she has faced about her own sexuality are a result of FGM. Farzana Doctor takes the reader, along with Sharifa, on a journey that shocks, angers and fills us with compassion. As betrayals by female family members are revealed, the book raises questions about the practice of female genital cutting in a so-called modern world. ...more
Dundurn Press
rated it it was amazing
Jan 27, 2020
« previous 1 3 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Advanced Copies f...: Give-away for SEVEN 1 31 Jul 06, 2020 06:09PM  
Goodreads Authors...: Goodreads Giveaway for SEVEN 1 15 Jun 30, 2020 06:40AM  
Indian Literature...: Win a copy of Seven 1 7 Jun 30, 2020 06:35AM  
Seven Giveaway! 1 1 Jun 26, 2020 05:57AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1)
  • In Five Years
  • The Best Friend (Broden Legal, #3)
  • Queen of the Owls
  • Everyday Lies
  • The Second Mother
  • Little Secrets
  • The Girl I Thought I Knew
  • Lakewood
  • It Is Wood, It Is Stone
  • The Apartment
  • The Passengers You Cannot See
  • A Life of Their Own
  • Eighteen Inches: The Distance between the Heart and Mind
  • If I Never Met You
  • All the Pretty Things
  • This Terrible Beauty
  • A Criminal Justice (Philadelphia Legal #4)
See similar books…
232 followers
I'm the author of Stealing Nasreen (Inanna 2007) and Six Metres of Pavement (Dundurn, 2011) and All Inclusive (Dundurn, 2015).

My fourth novel, Seven, will be on bookshelves September 2020. You can preorder now: https://anotherstory.ca/?q=h.tviewer&...
...more

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
24 likes · 14 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »