Faith healing

From The Guardian:Minaret

During the past half dozen years, a new genre of contemporary English fiction seems to have emerged in the form of a series of novels by Muslim writers that explore the fault lines between various Islamic cultures and the way of life flourishing in the US and western Europe. Leila Aboulela’s second novel, Minaret, marks her out as one of the most distinguished of this new wave. The narrative is tranquil and lyrical, developing the thoughts and emotions of her heroine so calmly that it was almost a shock to realise that I had begun, on the first page, to see my familiar world through her eyes. “London is at its most beautiful in the autumn. In summer it is seedy and swollen, in winter it is overwhelmed by Christmas lights and in spring, the season of birth, there is always disappointment. Now it is at its best, now it is poised like a mature woman whose beauty is no longer fresh but still surprisingly potent.” We meet her heroine, Najwa, as she enters the flat where she is to start work as a maid: “I’ve come down in the world. I’ve slid to a place where the ceiling is low and there isn’t much room to move. Most of the time I’m used to it … I accept my sentence and do not brood or look back.”

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