Bird Summons review ↠ E-book, or Kindle E-pub

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Salma Moni and Iman are embarking on a road trip to the Highlands to pay homage to Lady Evelyn Cobbold the first British woman convert to Islam to perform the pilgrimage to Mecca The women are looking for than a holiday Each wants to escape her life each wants an answerSalma came up with the idea for the trip Born in Egypt she moved to Scotland for love giving up her right to practise medicine Now a successful masseuse married to David and bringing up their children she feels that she still has The first book I have read by Leila Aboulela an author I ve wanted to read for some time being someone who grew up in one culture and has experienced life in another culture of the variety that interests me the opposite of the colonial visitor There was a time when literary insights into other cultures came predominantly from male explorers of anglo saxon cultures now we are increasingly able to read stories of how it is to be a woman coming from an African or Eastern culture or country living in the West a blend of the richness in perspective of what they bring and the fresh sightedness of their encounter with the place and people they have arrived toBird Summons was all the better for telling a tale of three women They share in common that they belong to the Arabic Speaking Muslim Women s Group although they ve each grown up in different countries So within their group and from that element they have in common they challenge and learn from each other As the reader we get to witness how their attitudes shift and change as they transform within this environment which is strange to them yet they are making it their home and it contributes to the way they are and will be One can not live elsewhere and stay fixed in the past and even when one adapts to a new present it is necessary to continue changing and moving forward no matter what challenges us from the outsideSalma has organised a trip for the members of the group to visit the remote site of a grave of Lady Evelyn Cobbold the first British woman to perform the pilgrimage to Mecca to educate themselves about the history of Islam in Britain however rumours of its defacement cause some to have doubts whittling their numbers to just three Sometimes adversity offers a gift and rather than an overnight visit they decide to stay a week at the loch a resort on the grounds of a converted monastery from where they can leisurely make their way to the graveEach of the three women has a pressing issue that over the week consumes them and the others learn aboutAnd then there is the Hoopoe The wonderful bird that ll take some readers on a side journey to find aboutIt is a wonderful book of three international women their journey which they believe to be a pilgrimage to an important site which becomes an inner voyage of transformationHighly Recommended

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Bird Summons

To make an effort to belong And when her old boyfriend Amir starts messaging her she is tempted to risk the life she has worked so hard to build Moni has been caring for her disabled son Adam for five years and is reaching breaking point Her husband wants them to join him in Saudi Arabia but Moni is reluctant to uproot her son taking him to a country where his condition will render him an outcast Iman the youngest of the three in her late twenties and yet on her third husband is burdened by her I could nt connect with any of the characters I found them annoying and just meh I tried really hard to find any sympathy and anything to like the book

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Beauty Treated like a pet by her lovers and friends she longs to be alone and freeOn a remote hillside in Inverness each woman is visited by the Hoopoe a sacred bird who comes with fables from Muslim literature and Celtic folklore forcing the women to uestion how much they have sacrificed in the name of love Bird Summons is a haunting fiercely compelling story of loyalties torn apart when love and religion faith and culture collide confirming Leila Aboulela as a leading storyteller of our times I had no contact with Miss Aboulela and her style of writing which means I did not have any special expectations for the book This review is also rather long because I had uite a lot of thoughts on itThat said I was definitely surprised how much I liked this book Although it deals with a religious premise which I can respect yet not follow it is only a forefront for the emotional journey the characters have to undertake There might be spoilers ahead so read this review with that in mindThe first third of the book is a bit slow to read It sets the tone appropriately yet I often found myself drifting away a bit by the long introductions of the characters I think after ending it it was necessary for the book itself because you need to invest some amount of time into them to respect the place where they finally end their story The 3 main characters had good motivations were interesting to listen to and also had obvious flaws which might be even important And the author too did a great job to never judge their flaws when she wrote from their characters perspective just as we ourselves would never judge our own flaws first The second part of the book or at least how I read it is a bit difficult to grasp I think mainly it presents the possible distractions problems and missteps of the characters to show the reader what can go wrong when you do not tackle your problems correctly Whether it is Salma spending too much time on her former lover or Moni who refuses to care for herself and not only for others The hopoe also appears a spiritual advisor with great history but he is only used very delicately and never gives clear directions for Iman to go toThe third section of the book is as expected the clashing of all the wrongdoings and the path to resolve them And it pains me to say but I was not uite happy with the ending The author decided to colour the ending in a magical realism kinda way visualising it in a dream like scene with the three women It was beautifully written the nature drawn metaphors the nightmares each woman had for herself manifesting their worst fears and the resolution with the Hopoe serving as a guide on the most important step of the journey In every journey there comes a point around three uarters of the way through when the traveler without a guide can go no further That uote really stuck with me too The realisation of ones need for help in dark times is probably one of the most powerful feelings and all women in the story felt it s impactAnd its weird to say because as much as I loved the ending it also strikes me that maybe they deserved a real ending Something physical a real discussion between them where they found themselves or at least acknowledged their faults This dream lasted for a whole day not further explained or uestioned And I think here is where I failed as a reader to completely understand the spiritual journey as something that might have happened in real life between them Maybe the dream they experienced together is in reality a very deep and emotional conversation between the protagonists Or it was just a dream they all had together and it will be forever a mystery what really happened between them But importantly I loved that they were able to find better versions of themselves in the end in a believable fashion not a complete turnaround for each and every character but everyone challenged their old way of thinking and found new ones to live afterI was going to give this book 4 stars It sounds childish but I will change it to 5 because as much as I first uestioned the ending the amount of time spent on thinking about it makes me wonder if that is what the author wanted to achieve I think I am going to pick up books from her hoping she will again surprise me


10 thoughts on “Bird Summons

  1. says:

    This was meant to be the ultimate threat the winning card If you don't carry the bundle of your crippled son drape yourself in a black abaya and hop on a plane to Saudi your husband will take another wife You will be replaced; your spot will be taken pg 155This is a strange book As usual I went into this novel completely blind I h

  2. says:

    The first book I have read by Leila Aboulela an author I've wanted to read for some time being someone who grew up in one culture and has experi

  3. says:

    The story follows three women Salma Moni and Iman as they undertake a pilgrimage to the grave of  Lady Evelyn Cobbold the first known Western woman to undertake a pilgrimage to Mecca The characters often veer towards caricature the paper thin veils with which Aboulela dresses their personalty punctuated intermittently by demonstrations of d

  4. says:

    I could'nt connect with any of the characters I found them annoying and just meh I tried really hard to find any sympathy and anything to like the book

  5. says:

    I was struggling with this book couldn't sympathise with the three main figures found them uite annoying and couldn't relat

  6. says:

    It has to be a 5 star read The folklore mixed with religious and moral lessons I loved that there was no preaching morality or religion but gentle nudges to be the best human one can be to let life be honest and accept it's changes To live and

  7. says:

    I loved Aboulela's The Translator a stunning novel I also liked her early novel Minaret Bird Summons was disappointing to me I liked it well enough for the first half a realistic mainstream treatment than her others I appreciate that the novel centers on friendship in particular among women as I don't think that

  8. says:

    Leila Abouleila's novel was kindly provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review The book will be printed in November but is already published in the UK and CanadaSalma moni and Iman are three Muslim women coming

  9. says:

    I had no contact with Miss Aboulela and her style of writing which means I did not have any special expectations f

  10. says:

    I received a digital ARC from Netgalley for a fair and honest reviewWow This book was not what I expected When I read the synopsis I was expecting a road trip story about three friends who had all emigrated to Scotland I was prepared for culture shock misunderstandings and some laughs But what Ms Aboulela provided was so much This story was a pilgrimage A pilgrimage of the mind and of the soul Three friends Salma Moni and Iman end up being

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