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An Unproductive Woman by [Muhammad-Ali, Khaalidah]
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An Unproductive Woman Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Length: 296 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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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: 794 KB
  • Print Length: 296 pages
  • Publication Date: December 6, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006JD1K2E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #768,414 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jane Steen on 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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A well told story that really kept me reading. Adam the husband in this story, is desperate for a male child and his wife Asabe (my favorite character) is unable to conceive, so Adam takes a second wife for that purpose. The characters are well developed and whether you like them or not, they make you want to learn more about them. Even though the culture and customs are very different from mine, I feel that we are all the same in our, hopes and dreams, fears and disappointments. Very well written. I hope to read something else by this author soon.
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Even through broken promises, Asabe stands by her husband through thick and thin. The moments (though few) when her resolve weakens, only prove to make her stronger. In my opinion, Asabe's persistence in trying to be a "good wife" to Adam is what really affords him the opportunities to make selfish decisions without regard to how she will hurt or react. Because the book included Adam's point of view, it showed that he even knew how unfair he was being. All in all, the heart wants what the heart wants and thus the story unfolds through the highs and lows of life as Adam and his family live through the decisions that he makes for his household. All for a son for Adam.

Adam's character made me angry at times, but he was only exhibiting humanly flaws that can stain any man on a mission. In his mind, he had the master plan, but it was only after he stopped trying so hard and looked at himself and his situation that he got what he truly wanted.

I feel the book was well written and that 4 stars accurately rates the title. The character development and storyline were solid and made the characters come alive as I read. Editing issues were very minor and worth forgiving. It had a nice flow, but the end felt sudden. (Perhaps I was enjoying the story and was not ready for it to end). I will keep an eye out for future titles from this author.
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