Georgette's Reviews > American Dervish

American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar
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's review
Feb 09, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: awesome
Read from February 19 to 21, 2012

Hayat is a Muslim growing up in the Midwest. He falls head over heels in love with his mom's best friend(his Auntie Mina). Mina, of course, after having a hard time escaping her nightmare marraige in the old country, had come over with her son, running away from her nightmare ex-husband who wanted her child. She stays with the family, and teaches Hayat how to read and instills in him a love of books, as well as teaching him to speak the Quran in English. Mina eventually falls in love with Nathan, a friend of Hayat's father, and prepares him to convert to Islam so they can marry without complications. Things go horribly awry when a jealous Hayat(just learning what unrequieted love is)sends a telegram to Mina's ex husband informing her of her and her son's whereabouts. Suddenly, the life Mina was trying to make for herself implodes- Nathan accepts a job in another part of the country and leaves her, once he makes it clear(after a disasterous service and being the receipient of much hatred because he defends Jewish people, that's a whole story inside the book)that he will not convert now, and therefore, Mina's family will not accept him as a husband for their daughter. She begins seeing an older man who, the story goes, was left by his wife and is heartbroken. He promises to take good care of Mina and her son, and they marry. Of course, he turns out to be a fleabag/roach motel of a man, and she's beat up on a regular basis, and extremely unhappy. Hayat struggles with the guilt on a daily basis, as he watches his family disintegrate after Mina's departure from the house.. Three years pass, and word comes to the family that Mina is very ill, and so they travel to see her. Hayat travels with his guilt, and eventually, gets his chance to confess to Mina what happened. I can't say more, or I would give away the end. What I will say is this book is fantastic. Any accolades it's gotten-have been deserved. By far, one of the best books I've read in this short year.

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Reading Progress

02/20/2012 page 14
02/20/2012 page 50
16.0% "So far, so good."

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