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Shaban Book Club Recap

Bismillahi ar-rahmani ar-rahim

Assalamu aleikum waramatulahi wabarakatuhu Dear Readers!

Welcome to this month's book club edition! Don't forget to grab your drink and snacks!

  • Ayesha Dean: The Lisbon Lawbreaker

Summary: Teenage sleuth Ayesha Dean is in Portugal, the land of delicious custard tarts, gorgeous sunsets, and piri-piri chicken. But a bungled good deed abruptly lands her on the wrong side of the law. If she tells all, she risks gaol. If she delves further into a mysterious death, she risks her life. If only this Australian could simply eat her way out of trouble. But no such luck.

This time Ayesha Dean is in WAY over her head!

Review: Book 3 of The Ayesha Dean Mysteries takes us on another round of thrill and lost Islamic History. In this tome, Lum sets the mystery in a land where Muslims used to live centuries ago before also their expulsion from the land like in Spain. Mentions of the well-known ascetic Ibn Arabi surface as well since he is quite a bit tied to Portugal. Lum's protagonist Ayesha appreciates and embraces all of the history she discovers there; the then and now.

However, since Ayesha has a knack for attracting trouble, her foreign exchange trip turns sour. Luckily, while many don't give her the benefit of the doubt when she lands in trouble, the very few friends she made in Lisbon do.

Ayesha Dean — The Lisbon Lawbreaker takes us on an exciting journey revolving around criminal gangs, respected and wealthy donors, endangered species, museums thieves and much more.

Again, Lum's writing bring us to the scene and makes the reader's mouth water at the mentions of the local food.

In all, Ayesha Dean — The Lisbon Lawbreakeris is a tale like no other; perfect for your New Adults. While book 1 and 2 are still thrilling and great reads, Book 3 raises the bar in matter of risk and problem solving.

It comes out April 8th, 2021. Please check it out and preorder here!

Rating: 4.5/5

  • The Book of Two Ways

Summary: Everything changes in a single moment for Dawn Edelstein. She’s on a plane when the flight attendant makes an announcement: Prepare for a crash landing. She braces herself as thoughts flash through her mind. The shocking thing is, the thoughts are not of her husband but of a man she last saw fifteen years ago: Wyatt Armstrong.

Dawn, miraculously, survives the crash, but so do all the doubts that have suddenly been raised. She has led a good life. Back in Boston, there is her husband, Brian, their beloved daughter, and her work as a death doula, in which she helps ease the transition between life and death for her clients.

But somewhere in Egypt is Wyatt Armstrong, who works as an archaeologist unearthing ancient burial sites, a career Dawn once studied for but was forced to abandon when life suddenly intervened. And now, when it seems that fate is offering her second chances, she is not as sure of the choice she once made.

After the crash landing, the airline ensures that the survivors are seen by a doctor, then offers transportation to wherever they want to go. The obvious destination is to fly home, but she could take another path: return to the archaeological site she left years before, reconnect with Wyatt and their unresolved history, and maybe even complete her research on The Book of Two Ways—the first known map of the afterlife.

As the story unfolds, Dawn’s two possible futures unspool side by side, as do the secrets and doubts long buried with them. Dawn must confront the questions she’s never truly asked: What does a life well lived look like? When we leave this earth, what do we leave behind? Do we make choices . . . or do our choices make us? And who would you be if you hadn’t turned out to be the person you are right now?

Thoughts: The after-life is perceived differently by people of different beliefs. It was a plus to see that the protagonist, a non-Muslim Death Doula with an Egyptian back story, pointed out that her Muslim clients were more at peace with the finality of this life compared to her other non-Muslim clients. The book also makes the reader infer that if you take something that's not meant for you because of your desire, sooner or later, you will have to pay a "restitution." This applies to relationships in this case and not money. It's not a bad read and inspired on the current research of current scientists in Egypt.

Rating: 4/5

  • And I Do Not Forgive You

Summary: Boldly blending fables and myths with apocalyptic technologies, Amber Sparks holds a singular role in the canon of the weird. Having garnered acclaim for her shimmering collection The Unfinished World, she reaches uncanny heights with And I Do Not Forgive You. In prose that beats with urgency, these contemporary stories read like the best of fairytales―which are, as Sparks writes, just a warning disguised as a wish...

Thoughts and Review: We thought that this book was a bit strange and very cryptic. A reader who is not well-read in myths and especially old French literature, will not get this book. Blasphemous throughout, it has some thought provoking tales. You can tell that the writer is a feminist at heart, a poet, a caring person, and a unique writer.

Rating: 3/5

Thank you for tuning in and reading. Dear Readers & Members, see you in Ramadan 1442 AH insha'Allah. Our Usual Book Club Questions Are: 1. What did you like most? 2. What gave you pause? 3. What didn't you like? 4. What are your other thoughts? 5. What question (s) do you have for the author(s)? 6. What questions about the book(s) do you have for the moderator or other members of the discussion(s)? We look forward to hearing from you.

G E T I N T O U C H ! FOFKY'S Books, Teas & Coffees

Until next time, subhanaka Allahumma wa-bihamdika ash-hadu anla ilaha illa anta as-taghfiruka wa atoobu ilayka. (O Allah, You are free from every imperfection; praise be to You. I testify that there is no true god except You; I ask Your Pardon and turn to You in repentance.) Aameen. Masalam, The Fofky's Book Club

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