Khaalidah Muhammad Ali did an incredible job with this novel The characters drive the plot forward and are definitely the main focus in this novel I formed strong opinions of the characters very early on Adam is a complete jerk, but makes the story interesting Asabe is such a sweet, caring and beautiful woman who just wants to give her husband Adam everything he wants, but when that isn t enough she even helps him with his other wives Asabe tries everything to keep her husbands attention, but he always falters and acts like a child Adamhe s very frustrating all he cared about was having a son because he gave up the only son he already had Asabe had the patience of a saint to put up with Adam for sure Khaalidah wrote both of these characters as if they truly were soul mates d awwww.This novel is like looking into the still practiced religions that believe in polygamy, rely heavily on having a son, and the various marriage ceremonies practices that come with them Khaalidah really developed each character to the fullest you can really see these characters coming to life I felt bad for the characters, wanted to strangle and knock some sense into other characters, and sniffled away tears a few times Khaalidah showed the perspective of each character beautifully and flawlessly She shows you exactly what Adam, Asabe, the wives, their extended family, friends, neighbors, etc feel about everything that happens It s an incredible novel, and a must read for anyone who enjoys looking into different religions, romance, marriage, or simply what happens when you re obsesssed with having a certain gender of a child. An interesting story It was entertaining, but not realistic The entire focus of the book is on pregnancy, childbirth, nursing children that you didn t give birth to, emotions and relations between rival women and the one man that they all seem to think is worth fighting over, and hoping that people you have abandoned will someday come back into your life A lot of fairy tale wishing going on, though it is entertaining for sure I m not much into fiction though, so for someone who enjoys fictional stories, it might be a good choice. This story begins with Asabe s heart crushing confrontation with her husband Adam wants a son, and he has grown frustrated and disappointed with her barren womb He s taking a second wife.Asabe doesn t leave Adam, but neither does she sit around and quietly accept his decision It was interesting to view the dynamics of their relationship, and how the arrival of the second wife, Fatima, both altered and tested it.To be honest, I wasn t sure how Asabe would hold up, but her strength, intelligence and character really aided her in navigating these tough waters view spoiler I didn t expect her and Fatima to become friends and even sisters to one another, but this just shows Asabe s maturity and well grounded nature hide spoiler Asabe was married to the man she loved, Adam She never wanted to be married to any other man The only thing missing from their happy lives were children Try as she might Asabe wasn t able to conceive She didn t know at the time that Adam had a son by a Western woman All she knew was Adam craved a son Adam married twice and though he tried, he was given daughters Asabe goes above and beyond as his first wife She cooks, cleans, launders his clothing and keeps things running smoothly His second wife was just a child when she first came to him and although it was tough, Asabe and Fatima became sisters Adam s third wife was a selfish, arrogant, spoiled woman Asabe and she had known each other as children Now it would take every ounce of patience and faith Asabe had to deal with her When it seems as though tragedy and heartbreak are all Adam s household will know, a miracle happens.Heartwarming, enriching and full of wonderful life lessons, this book should be on your list The messages contained in this story are ones everyone can learn something from Love, marriage, children and doing what s right are all included in this story One woman endures so much to make her husband happy and to keep her life as peaceful as possible I recommend this book to everyone You will be amazed at all she goes through in her lifetime.I didn t find anything wrong with this one.I gave this one 5 out of 5 books because it was amazing. pegando esse livro para ler para o Desafio Liter rio Popoca do m s de maio, porque, bem, se encaixa no tema de casamentos importantes para a hist ria.O livro se encaixa porque traz a hist ria de Asabe, uma mulher senegalesa, primeira esposa de um homem mais velho, que n o consegue engravidar Por isso, o seu marido resolve casar com uma segunda mulher Mulher exagero, uma crian a E a partir da a hist ria uma grande propaganda sobre como as mulheres mu ulmanas devem manter a f e serem boas esposas e boas m es um dos livros mais deprimentes que j li Vi diversas resenhas no Goodreads onde as pessoas apontam quest es fantasiosas na hist ria, e sim, at que elas existem, mas o meu problema n o esse, que essas coisas s o realmente vendidas no mundo isl mico como recompensas para quem se comportar E o pior que, sim, tem muitas hist rias como a de Asabe no mundo.Foi como ler uma vers o gua com a car de Girls of Riad, onde todas as trag dias s o mostradas como prova es para um pr mio no final N o h nenhuma cr tica aos problemas bvios que s o mostrados A nica cr tica a falta de f Uma vers o isl mica de um romance daqueles que vendem hist rias de crescimento espiritual atrav s da dor e do sacrif cio, com direito a justificar uma quantidade gigantesca de machismo.N o consigo entender como a autora, uma americana, por mais que mu ulmana, que foi indicada para pr mios de edi o de fic o cient fica, tenha escrito isso Se era para ser ir nico, definitivamente n o ficou claro.Recomendo apenas para ilustrar o tipo de lavagem cerebral que religi es podem fazer com uma pessoa. Scroll down for the English version.Affascinante ma deludenteSono sempre molto attratta da libri ambientati in luoghi lontani e i cui protagonisti vivono culture profondamente diverse dalla mia Sono storie che aprono la mente, che ci insegnano a vedere il diverso e a rispettarlo, per quanto ci appaia estraneo e contrario al nostro modo di vedere, a ci che noi consideriamo giusto E, da donna, mi piacciono le storie di questo tipo raccontate dal punto di vista di una donna, che spesso mi portano a notare che, sebbene nelle differenze, esistono comunque dei punti in comune, che sono universali.Con queste aspettative mi sono cimentata nella lettura di An Unproductive Woman Dal titolo si pu immaginare di cosa parli la storia di una donna che non riesce ad avere figli, ma allo stesso tempo molto pi complessa di cos ambientata in Senegal, in un contesto musulmano, con una figura di donna intesa come madre di figli e in situazioni di poligamia in cui spesso il marito molto pi vecchio delle sue mogli gi un argomento difficile da trattare per una donna occidentale, ma ha un suo fascino interessante apprendere il modo di pensare di queste donne per le quali normale sposare un uomo ben pi grande di loro, per le quali la presenza di altre mogli qualcosa che pu accadere, sebbene non vadano matte per l idea, ma tendono comunque ad adattarvisi interessante vedere questo tipo di dinamiche familiari e tutti i problemi di gelosie, discussioni e litigi che vi si possono osservare.C da specificare che non siamo di fronte a situazioni che implicano abusi Le donne raccontate in questo romanzo sono donne libere di fare ci che vogliono Gli unici limiti che hanno sono quelli dettati dalla loro stessa mentalit.Il libro scritto molto bene, lo stile evocativo dell autrice ti porta dentro la testa di queste donne e dei loro uomini.Eppure non ne sono stata soddisfatta.La trama abbastanza complessa aveva degli spunti interessanti Adam dopo aver vissuto un lungo periodo in America dove aveva una moglie e un figlio maschio, torna in Senegal per dovere , perch la sua famiglia, che non sa nulla di questa moglie e questo figlio, vuole che lui prenda moglie nel suo Paese E lui lo fa Per poi passare il resto della sua vita a pentirsi di aver perso quel figlio maschio S , avete letto bene, il figlio maschio, non perch ha abbandonato la sua famiglia.Il motivo del suo pentimento soltanto che la sua nuova giovane moglie, Asabe, sembra non essere in grado di dargli alcun figlio, tanto meno maschio In caso contrario appare evidente che mai si sarebbe pentito.Mentre Adam si affanna a trovare una moglie capace di ci , una serie di sfortune, morti, nascite di figlie femmine, malattie e cos via gli impediscono di raggiungere questo sogno Qui l ironia della sorte, o il karma, o il suo stesso Dio lo stanno punendo per il suo comportamento E questo forse l aspetto pi equilibrato della storia.Dal canto suo Asabe, che non sa nulla del suo passato, continua ad amarlo e subire quel suo desiderio che lei non pu esaudire Mentre il figlio perduto da adulto scopre che il padre lo cercava.Tutto ci ha le potenzialit di un grande dramma e, invece, si sgonfia in un insulso buonismo davvero difficile da mandare gi.Non c vero pentimento laddove ci dovrebbe essere, e c perdono laddove pare del tutto impossibile che ci sia.Onestamente non so se la storia possa essere realistica Da occidentale non lo sembra, ma cercando di aprire la mente ad altre culture le concedo il beneficio del dubbio e dico che forse la sospensione dell incredulit potrebbe aver retto.Ma ci non impedisce l esistenza di due aspetti veramente deludenti.Il primo il tentativo di presentare una situazione controversa per poi farla piegare al conformismo dell ambiente in cui si sviluppa In tutto questo dov la crescita dei personaggi Non c Sono tutti statici, fermi sulle loro convinzioni o, peggio, invece finiscono per regredire La riconciliazione di una prevedibilit disarmante.Nella vita reale sono convinta che succeda cos , la gente per quieto vivere lascia correre, perdona, va avanti Ma questa finzione Se nella finzione il conflitto non porta a una crescita e a una risoluzione inattesa, i fatti sono due non funziona lasciando il lettore perplesso o semplicemente lo annoia poich non offre nulla di nuovo.L altro aspetto che proprio non riesco ad accettare questa immagine della donna che come unici pensieri ha fare figli, avere cura di loro, del marito, i loro sentimenti, i pettegolezzi, le gelosie ecc solo e unicamente queste cose Nonostante il romanzo entri nel dettaglio in tutti questi aspetti, raccontandoci anche la quotidianit di queste donne, mai una volta che in loro riesca a trasparire un bench minimo interesse per un qualsiasi altro argomento A parte forse Asabe che vediamo qualche volta curare il giardino ma pare pi che altro un aspetto di contorno , possibile che non abbiano altri interessi nella vita E, badate bene, non parliamo di una famiglia che vive in condizioni di indigenza in cui le donne non si possono permettere frivolezze ovviamente non sono veramente frivolezze, visto che gli interessi di una persona ne definiscono la sua essenza , tutt altro Adam un imprenditore Le sue mogli hanno tutto quello di cui hanno bisogno Capisco che tradizionalmente si occupino di faccende da donne , okay, ma oltre a questo il nulla O sono donne di una pochezza di spirito pazzesca tutte o, come penso, l autrice ha deciso di volerci mostrare dei personaggi la cui continua preoccupazione quella di ottenere l attenzione di un uomo codardo ed egoista Sembra quasi che la sua sia una provocazione nei confronti del mondo occidentale in cui lei vive.Niente mi convincer che una cosa del genere possa essere realistica E purtroppo, bench io possa apprezzare il suo intento, ne sono rimasta delusa, poich , in poche parole, non me l ha data a bere.Fascinating but disappointingI m always attracted to books set in distant places and whose protagonists live cultures very different from mine These are stories that open you mind, which teach you to see what is different and to respect it, even if it appears alien and contrary to the way we see, to what we consider to be right And, being a women, I like the stories of this kind told from the point of view of a woman, which often lead me to note that, although the differences, however, there are points in common, which are universal.With these expectations, I ventured into the reading of An unproductive Woman From the title you can imagine what it is about It is the story of a woman who cannot have children, but at the same time it is much complex than that.It is set in Senegal, in a Muslim context, with a figure of a woman seen as the mother of children, and in situations of polygamy in which often the husband is much older than his wives.It s already a difficult subject to deal with for a western woman, but it has its own charm It s interesting to learn the way of thinking of those women for whom it is normal to marry a man much older than them, for whom the presence of other wives is something that can happen, though they do not like so much the idea, but they tend to adapt anyway It s interesting to see this type of family dynamics and all the problems of jealousy, quarrels, and fights that can be observed.I must specify that we are not faced with situations that involve abuse The women told in this novel are women free to do what they want The only limits they have are those dictated by their own mentality.The book is very well written, the evocative style of the author takes you inside the head of these women and their men.Yet I was not satisfied.The plot was complex enough and had interesting ideas Adam after having lived a long time in America where he had a wife and a son, he returned to Senegal for duty , because his family, who knows nothing of this wife and this son, wants him to take a wife in his country And he does so And then he spends the rest of his life in regret of having lost his son Yes, you read that right, just his son, not because he has abandoned his family.The reason of his repentance is only that his new young wife, Asabe, does not seem to be able to give him any child, let alone a son Otherwise it seems obvious that he would never regret it.While Adam struggles to find a wife capable of this, a series of misfortunes, deaths, births of daughters, diseases and so on would prevent him from achieving this dream Here the irony of fate, or karma, or his own God is punishing him for his behaviour And this is perhaps the most balanced aspect of the story.In the meantime Asabe, who knows nothing of his past, continues to love him and suffers his wish that she cannot fulfil While the lost child as an adult discovers that his father was looking for him.This has the potential of a great drama and, instead, will deflate in a vapid doing good ism which is really hard to swallow.There is no true repentance where it should be, and there is forgiveness where seems quite impossible that there is.Honestly I do not know if the story could be realistic Being western, it doesn t seem so to me, but if I try to open my mind to other cultures I give it the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe the suspension of disbelief might have endured.But this does not prevent the existence of two really disappointing aspects.The first is the attempt to present a controversial situation and then to bend it to the conformism of the environment in which it develops In all this, where is the growth of the characters There is not They are all static, firm on their convictions, or worse, they tend instead to regress The reconciliation is disarmingly predictable.In real life I suppose that it can happen, that people let it go for a quiet life, forgive, go ahead But this is fiction If the conflict in fiction does not lead to a growth and an unexpected resolution, the facts are twofold it does not work leaving the reader puzzled or simply bored because it does not offer anything new.The other aspect that I just cannot accept is this image of the woman whose only thoughts are to have children, take care of them, her husband, their feelings, gossip, jealousy etc and only these things Despite the novel enters the detail in all these aspects, even telling the daily lives of these women, never once a slightest interest in any other subject manages to shine in them Aside from perhaps Asabe, that we see sometimes tending the garden but it seems like a contour , is it possible they don t have other interests in life And, mind you, I m not talking about a family living in conditions of poverty in which women cannot afford frivolousness obviously it isn t really frivolousness, since the interests of a person define their essence , anything but that Adam is an entrepreneur His wives have everything they need I understand that they traditionally deal with women matters, okay, but other than that nothing Or they are just plain boring women all or, as I think, the author decided to show characters whose continuing concern is to get the attention of a coward and selfish man It almost seems that hers is a provocation against the Western world in which she lives.Nothing will convince me that such a thing could be realistic And unfortunately, although I can appreciate her intent, I m disappointed, because, in a nutshell, I don t buy it. An Unproductive Woman is billed as women s fiction, and it is centering as it does around domestic life and emotions , but it might be even better categorized as a work of inspirational fiction The theme of forgiveness pervades the novel The template is similar to that of much Christian fiction, except, of course, that the characters are Muslim in a polygamist, highly patriarchal culture The object is reconciliation and the spiritual growth of the characters, and we see an eventual improvement in them You have your stock almost too devout to be true character in Asabe She does reach a breaking point, however, when she strikes her husband s junior wife, that shows her imperfection, but she is given plenty of excuse for that You also have your clear antagonist in need of spiritual transformation Sauda , and your nuanced protagonist who is meant to be sympathetic but also clearly in need of spiritual transformation Adam I say the reader is meant to sympathize with Adam while loathing parts of him , but I had some trouble doing just that For much of the book, the regret that haunts him is expressed in anger and unkindness and desperation rather than in repentance Asabe loves her husband Adam, but it is unclear why He s angry and self centered and sometimes unkind to her, but she tells us she loves him If it were just a matter of time and familiarity and family affection and duty, that would be understandable, but I never felt like I got a clear sense of why she was attracted to him as a man, and she claims to love him in that sort of romantic way I think Asabe is in some sense supposed to be the ideal model of a Muslim woman submissive without being a complete doormat she leaves Adam once and stands up for the weak , forgiving, faithful, devout, and assured that whatever her current troubles or mistreatment, Allah is still to be trusted I had no sense of what country this book was taking place in for quite some time Perhaps the author mentions the country toward the beginning, but if she did, I missed it The country s name does come up a few times closer toward the end, but I would have liked scene setting in the beginning As with many Old Testament stories, An Unproductive Woman gives one a concept of why polygamy is such a bad idea through the depiction of its inevitable perils, jealousies, and pain The author lets us into the characters heads, but I never felt like I could fully relate to any of them There are many characters, and some are better developed than others We are given a backstory for everyone, even if he or she is introduced relatively late into the novel The writing is generally good, though the author sometimes states the obvious instead of letting the reader grasp it from context I found it fairly easy to read the book, though there were moments when the pace slowed I think this book might be just the book for a Muslim reader seeking inspirational fiction, but perhaps a bit less so for the secular westerner wanting to read a work of literary fiction about another culture though it may satisfy some of that audience too Think less Khaled Hosseini and Juhmpa Lahiri and I can t think of a representative Christian fiction author, but that s the comparison I d go for This is not to say An Unproductive Woman is overly didactic it s not, though the religious messages are clear enough It s just to say that there is a clear spiritual message and object in the novel that is in keeping with inspirational than literary fiction Note I received a free copy of this book from Story Cartel in exchange for an honest review. This book is full of heartbreak and sadness It is also full of family and love and understanding and faith I know that this one is outside the genres that I normally post about here on Books Devoured but when I got an email from the author, I read an excerpt of the book online There was no way I could stop after that and not know what happened next I am so glad I made that decision If there was ever a woman to look up to and aspire to be like it is Asabe She is Adams first wife and his steadfast partner in life She loves her husband but she can not give him the one thing he wants the most, a son I love that Asabe is written so well that even though I look up to her she is not perfect She has some hard times in the story and she often reacts out of hurt pride just like any one else would What makes her so amazing though is what she does next She is not afraid to admit when she is wrong but she is also not a doormat to be walked on and mistreated I loved Asabe.Where Asabe s actions are motivated by faith, her husband Adam s actions are motivated by grief and regret There were times in the story that I wanted to dislike Adam but I just could not He suffers so much and does what he feels he must to take care of his family Fatima breaks my heart from the first moment we learn about her I cut the synopsis short this time because I think it give too much away, especially about Fatima I urge you to read the first chapter that I linked to instead of the synopsis.The only thing that kept me from giving this story a 5 was the end It felt so rushed and I felt a bit cheated out of the emotions because of it Everything else in the story was told so honestly and openly and I felt that the end was glossed over and it broke my heart Still though, I did get closure I just wish I had gotten details I could write pages about this story but you know how I hate to give anything away that you could discover while reading What I will say is that I think this story is a great example of how families are similar no matter their religion Even though Adam does marry than one woman it does not change what is important Love, faith, communication This family is put through some serious heartbreak and they do what any family wants to do, they get through it together I really enjoyed my time with this family and I hope that many readers discover them.BOTTOM LINE An unexpected gem of a story, I loved it. Where I got the book free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.Going to Smashwords, where I originally got the book, I see it s been unpublished I hope this means that the author has pulled it for editing and re issuing Because it needs both Can I hope that she s been signed by someone Because this writer is definitely a diamond in the rough Anyway, this review comes with the warning that it may not pertain to the version you, Dear Reader, eventually read, but to an earlier incarnation.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 scene setting at the outset and some 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.I won t over discuss the plot, as it may have changed a little when the new edition comes out 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 view spoiler to replace, in a sense, his unacknowledged son by a white American convert he was unable to face the shame of bringing home a Western wife told you there were culture shocks hide spoiler An Unproductive Woman Tells The Story Of Family, Faith, And Marriage, And Above All Else, HopeAdam Is Desperate For A Son, But After Ten Years Of Marriage He And His Wife Asabe Remain Childless Despite The Obvious Heartbreak This Causes Asabe, Adam Marries A Second Wife, The Very Young And Beautiful Fatima Double Tragedy Prevents The Realization Of Adam S Hope And Asabe Stands Firm With Her Husband To Gather The Broken Pieces Of Their Life But, Adam Isn T Prepared To Count His Loses He Compounds Their Difficulties By Marrying The Cunning And Deceptive Divorcee, Sauda This Choice Yields Anguish And Confusion, And Adam Loses Than Hope, But A Piece Of His SpiritNeglected And Living In The Shadow Of Adam S Desires, Asabe Yet Again Proves Her Worth As The True Bedrock In His Life Asabe Becomes The Catalyst That Brings Adam S Life Full CircleRead An Unproductive Woman To Learn What Secrets Adam Has Withheld That Would Explain His Unreasonable Longing And Pursuit Of A Son At All Costs
World Fantasy Award nominated editor Writer Co Editor at PodCastle_org Narrator SFWA Codex.
- 426 pages
- An Unproductive Woman
- Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali
- 07 April 2018 Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali