From the darkest hour of American history emerges a mesmerizing tale of tender love, a life interrupted, and faith recovered. Arissa Illahi, a Muslim artist and writer, discovers in a single moment that no matter how carefully you map your life, it is life itself that chooses your destiny. After her husband's death in the collapse of the World Trade Center, the discovery of his manuscript marks Arissa's reconnection to life. Her unborn son and the unfinished novel fuse in her mind into one life-defining project that becomes, at once, the struggle for her emotional survival and the redemption of her race. “Saffron Dreams” is a novel about our ever evolving identities and the events and places that shape them.
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Shaila Abdullah is a Pakistani-American author and designer based in Austin, Texas. Her first book, Beyond the Cayenne Wall, is an award-winning collection of stories about Pakistani women struggling to find their individualities despite the barriers imposed by society. For more information, please visit www.ShailaAbdullah.com.
Book Review :
There are books that are beautiful simply because they are so positive and pleasant. And there are those that manage to be beautiful in spite of the pain and the suffering and the heartbreak contained within. Shaila Abdullah's "Saffron Dreams" is both. Her writing is mesmerizing. It feels like a classically cut diamond - precise, sparkling, blindingly beautiful, but also incredibly sharp. It was comforting, it was funny, it was spicy; and then heartbreaking, full of despair, filled with hope, amazingly fresh and vibrant and satisfying. Following Arissa's story makes the reader realize how little most of us know and understand the world of Muslims, and how incredibly wrong so many of our perceptions are.
If you are looking for a tender love story, you'll find it here. If you are curious about how people live, love and laugh in another culture, you are in for a treat. If you want to read about overcoming challenges, your wish will be granted. If it is simply beauty that you are searching for, you'll find it in abundance in "Saffron Dreams" by Shaila Abdullah. This is a book I would highly recommend to anybody who loves beautifully written and intelligent contemporary prose, especially to the readers who are curious and open minded, and to those who enjoy stories with strong female characters.