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An Unproductive Woman [Kindle Edition]

Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

An Unproductive Woman tells the story of family, faith, and marriage, and above all else, hope.
Adam is desperate for a son, but after ten years of marriage he and his wife Asabe remain childless.  Despite the obvious heartbreak this causes Asabe, Adam marries a second wife, the very young and beautiful Fatima.  Double tragedy prevents the realization of Adam's hope and Asabe stands firm with her husband to gather the broken pieces of their life. 
But, Adam isn't prepared to count his loses.  He compounds their difficulties by marrying the cunning and deceptive divorcee, Sauda.  This choice yields anguish and confusion, and Adam loses more than hope, but a piece of his spirit.
Neglected and living in the shadow of Adam's desires, Asabe yet again proves her worth as the true bedrock in his life.  Asabe becomes the catalyst that brings Adam's life full circle.
Read An Unproductive Woman to learn what secrets Adam has withheld that would explain his unreasonable longing and pursuit of a son at all costs.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali was raised in New Haven, Connecticut. She is a RN at a world-renowned cancer center in Houston, Texas where she currently lives with her husband and three children.

Product Details

  • File Size: 642 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006JD1K2E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,089 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A diamond in the rough June 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Where I got the book: free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

First, the whole issue of "good writing" vs "technically correct writing". There were many technical flaws in this novel, from structural snafus to unstable POV to incorrect word usage, but that's very common in a first-time writer who hasn't used an editor. If you hang around writing groups you'll see flawed writing that's just plain ol' bad writing and is pretty much unsalvageable, and flawed writing that's still good writing. An Unproductive Woman is in the latter category, which means that my rating knocks off a star for not using an editor (or subjecting the writing to a rigorous but encouraging writer group) but is high to indicate my overall enjoyment of the story and the author's overall abilities with the written word.

The story is gripping, if a little over-the-top and soap-operaish in places. It's set in Senegal: one of my peeves is that it took most of the book to work this out, and I would have liked more scene-setting at the outset and some more description of locales and environments. This is not only an African setting but a Muslim African setting, and Western readers may receive many small culture shocks and a less-than-flattering view of themselves. I loved that; one of the beauties of literature is this ability to challenge our ideas and worldview while emphasizing our common humanity.

Adam and Asabe have been married for several years but remain childless. Even though Adam always promised Asabe that he would never take a second wife, he is now aging and desperate for a son. His desperation leads him to seek out a 14-year-old girl as his bride, and he is eventually forced by circumstances to accept a third, more difficult wife.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unproductive Woman January 20, 2012
By jcasta
Format:Paperback
This book is an insightful view into the attitudes of Islamic polygamist society. It was interesting to me that even though polygamy is an accepted practice in this culture some couples willingly abstain from taking other partners because of the concern, love and respect that they have for their initial spouse.

Nevertheless, Adam (the head of this family) succumbs to tradition and allows another female, (you can't call Fatima, the new second wife, a woman) into his household. I did find it disconcerting that he could gaze at the picture of a child and envision a physical relationship with her in the near future. Fatima comes to his home at the ripe age of 14 yrs.

And what of Asabe the beloved first wife, who through no fault of her own has proven to be barren. Do we know it's her, maybe it's the husband that is infertile. The unfolding of the complicated relationships and the influence of the characters past lives and how those experiences contibute to their current situations kept me reading this novel from beginning to end. This is a great rainy day read. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An Unproductive Woman is a wonderful book and written with great sensitivity. The author made the characters come alive, and I developed sympathy for all of them, particularly Asabe. I had no idea how the problems would be resolved in story that takes place in a society so different from mine, and I was happy with the excellent conclusion. An Unproductive Woman is a very worthwhile and enjoyable read, and I strongly recommend it. You won't be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars left me wanting February 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There's nothing wrong with a strong religious message, except when it's at the expense of a good story.
I like a story that makes me feel as if I am there with the characters and can visualize their surroundings and culture, but although I felt sympathy for the main character I had no idea where she even was until halfway through the book. I would have liked more description of the home, for example, than that she had a garbage disposal in her kitchen.
As someone else said, a glossary of terms would have been helpful, as the Kindle dictionary was of little use here.
Perhaps the novel was intended mainly for readers in that part of west Africa, who know the culture and geography and can fill in the missing information for themselves.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! November 2, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This story begins with Asabe's heart-crushing confrontation with her husband: Adam wants a son, and he has grown frustrated and disappointed with her barren womb. He's taking a second wife.

Asabe doesn't leave Adam, but neither does she sit around and quietly accept his decision. It was interesting to view the dynamics of their relationship, and how the arrival of the second wife, Fatima, both altered and tested it.

To be honest, I wasn't sure how Asabe would hold up, but her strength, intelligence and character really aided her in navigating these tough waters.

Asabe is definitely my favorite character, and I couldn't help but admire her throughout the story.

Adam, in his quest for a son (and the misfortunes involved with it) reminded me of Henry VIII. Asabe is right--God doesn't like ugly!

The secondary characters are well-rounded (and I loved the change that occurred in Attiyah, Adam's sister), and I know I keep raving about the prose, but I LOVE it :)

My only complaint would be that I didn't get a complete sense of setting (where are they? Is this now, or ten years ago? etc.) but other than that, this was a fantastic read!

If you like character-driven stories, if you like drama, and especially if you like female protagonists/main characters who are NOT doormats and NOT idiots, then you will love Asabe and An Unproductive Woman.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating but disappointing
I’m always attracted to books set in distant places and whose protagonists live cultures very different from mine. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Anakina
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great story, fast read!
Published 2 months ago by Anila N Bhai
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and engaging
Khalidah is a brilliant story teller, graphic in her description, she drew me into the lives of her character. The story is about redemption by love and faith. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Irene
3.0 out of 5 stars well drawn characters!! would love to read more from the author
i received this book in exchange of an honest review on amazon. so here it is.

i have been reading a lot of women's fiction these days and most of them are pretty... Read more
Published 8 months ago by a cup of coffee and a fairy tale
3.0 out of 5 stars A Look into a Narrow Muslim Lifestyle
Having studied Islamic culture before but having not come across this type of fiction before, I found this story to be an interesting but puzzling read. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Elizabeth
3.0 out of 5 stars DEFINITELY WORTH READING
I got a free copy of this book to review.

Someone has reviewed this book as "flawed writing" - perhaps that is a fair assessment but this is a great story and... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Balan Iyer
4.0 out of 5 stars An honest book....
This book was an honest portrayal of the life of a normal, middle class muslim family set in the country of Senegal. Read more
Published 9 months ago by C. Venkataraman
4.0 out of 5 stars review
Awesome book!!!! This was a very realistic book in which showed the struggle of everyday life. The struggle to live according to the Quran in today's society.
Published 9 months ago by nice game
4.0 out of 5 stars A Compelling Read
I enjoyed this book very much. It is the classic tale of a woman whose determination to remain strong in her commitment to her marriage is challenged at every turn. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Lisa Pedersen
5.0 out of 5 stars A Whole New World
Wow, the beauty of well written books is that they can introduce you to a whole different world that most people may not have ever imagined, no less scene. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Brian M.
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More About the Author

I will refrain from referring to myself in third person as I find it a bit neurotic, lame, and even arrogant. I will also keep this brief because I wish to keep the focus on my work and not myself.

I was raised in New Haven, Connecticut. I attended the University of Connecticut for a couple of years but left to marry my husband of twenty years. I have three beautiful children, who like most children these days, far outstrip their parents in intelligence and creativity.

My days, my concrete life, are spent caring for breast oncology patients as a registered nurse. I love working as an oncology nurse. It keeps me grounded and forces me to remember the transient beauty of life, and the importance of doing what one loves while one can. It also keeps God foremost in my mind as I journey through this brief life, that my choices might be according to His will.


My less ordered life (Don't we all live multiple separate lives?) is spent mostly in my head. I am always attempting to order the multitude of ideas that rise unbidden in my mind when I least expect them. Sometimes the voices of half-formed characters speak to me, begging to be recorded for posterity, that we might learn from them, or them from us.

So, here I am. Here we are. For the present.

K

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