By Leila Aboulela; Grove Press, Black Cat; paperback; 290 pages
In her adventurous new novel, New York Times Notable author Leila Aboulela delivers a lively portrait of three women who embark on a journey of self-discovery while grappling with the conflicting demands of family, duty, and faith.
When Salma, Moni, and Iman--friends and active members of their local Muslim Women's group--decide to take a road trip together to the Scottish Highlands, they leave behind lives often dominated by obligation, frustrated desire, and dull predictability. Each wants something more out of life but fears the cost of taking it. Salma is successful and happily married, but tempted to risk it all when she's contacted by her first love back in Egypt; Moni gave up a career in banking to care for her disabled son without the help of her indifferent husband; and Iman, in her twenties and already on her third marriage, longs for the freedom and autonomy she's never known.
When the women are visited by the Hoopoe, a sacred bird from Muslim and Celtic literature, they are compelled to question their relationships to faith and femininity, love, loyalty, and sacrifice.
Brilliantly imagined, thoughtful and wise, Bird Summons confirms Leila Aboulela's reputation as one of our finest contemporary writers.
About the author:
Leila Aboulela was born in 1964 in Cairo, to an Egyptian mother and a Sudanese father. She moved to Sudan at the age of six weeks and lived in Khartoum continuously until 1987. She is the author of five novels, Bird Summons, The Translator, a New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year, The Kindness of Enemies, Minaret and Lyrics Alley, Fiction Winner of the Scottish Book Awards.
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