I read this while we were in Rockford over Thanksgiving, and to be honest, I can’t remember that much about it except for the fact that the protagonist’s aunt used laurel soap, which sounded lovely and refreshing, and reminds me that I want to order some laurel essential oil to make the soap for myself.
Now that I’ve refreshed my memory, I do remember this. It was your typical coming-of-age story, only it centers around a Syrian girl growing up in 1970s Indianapolis. She starts out as a strict Muslim, finds she needs to go outside her community and religion to find herself, and ends up striking a happy medium. Blah blah. Sections of the book were howlingly funny–I remember chuckling on the plane–but Kahf lost me on long passages of political and religious commentary. It was one of those books in which you ask yourself, “Okay, now that she’s written about herself, where does she go from here?”
Which is all to say that this was okay, but nothing spectacular.