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The Translator Paperback – September 14, 2006
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
But that relationship is beautiful, and it results in a love story whose outcome is by no means predictable, since both leading characters are too honorable for short cuts or compromise. It is made more poignant by the social distance between the two and saved from sentimentality by the cold grayness of the northern Scottish city that is its setting. Later, the action moves to the Sudan, and the scenes in Khartoum -- brighter, more colorful, where Sammar is surrounded by an extended family -- have the ring of a very different truth. I do not think I have read any recent novel that has presented Islam in such sympathetic light. There is much that Abouela might have developed into a much longer novel (for example, hints of Rae's involvement with offstage political activity), but book that she did choose to write is a tour-de-force of compact simplicity.Read more ›
Aboulela's prose is wonderfully rhythmic - not rhythmic in the manner of lines of poetry, marching to the meter of linear feet, but on a larger scale, in the progression of the drama in each chapter and the progression of the chapters through the book. We feel the ticking of time as we work through each day's prayers and meals and each days interior monologue. Her pacing is virtually perfect.
Unfortuately, in a few places Aboulela's story line is flawed, perhaps most notably in a major climactic scene where Sammar's tortured confrontation of the man she loves devolves into a lecture on the Shahada (one converts to Islam by sincerely speaking the Shahada). Given his expertise and background, I found the lecture out of place and jarring. Sammar is saying things that would not need to be said, and doing so only for the benefit of an assumed Western audience. Suddenly, the reader is all too much in the middle of the story at a very awkward time and place. There had to be a better way to handle this scene.
While there are two or three other places where there are other modest flaws in the storyline, the strength of the storyline and the power of the prose overcome these flaws, making this one of the better stories I have read in some time. I can think of no other work of fiction in English that is as empathetic to an Islamic protagonist. Highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good for researches on post colonial novels!
I liked The Minaret more than this one. However, it's very well written.
This book was ok, but her fragmented run-on sentences got to be a little irritating . I found Sammar to be very proud and selfish. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Kaj
Loved it. Humanity prevails and love surpasses religion. Beautiful journey from Aberdeen to Khartoum. Read morePublished 16 months ago by vivek
Quite astounding that people are so tied up with tradition and ritual.Published 21 months ago by susan hoefner
Honestly, I was fairly bored. There are parts that kept my attention - will he convert? - will they get married? Overall though, I was just bored. Read morePublished on April 15, 2014 by John Niendorf
This is a very beautifully written novel. There is something in the rhythm of the prose and choice of words that makes it a truly outstanding work. It is obvious that Ms. Read morePublished on April 13, 2014 by Witold
The book is really a over simplification of everything we go through as Muslim women living in the West. Read morePublished on March 9, 2012 by Diaspora
The story is about a Muslim widow falling in love with a Scottish expert on the Middle East, and her struggle between her faith and her love for him. Read morePublished on February 9, 2012 by booklover