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The Jewel of Medina, by Sherry Jones

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boswellbaxter
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Post by boswellbaxter » Wed November 26th, 2008, 6:11 am

Thanks for the review! I might pick this up at the library someday out of curiosity, but it's not a period I have much interest in to begin with, so I don't think I'll be rushing out to get it. I am glad, though, that it got published.
Susan Higginbotham
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boswellbaxter
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Post by boswellbaxter » Sat November 29th, 2008, 2:32 pm

Another review (by author Geraldine Brooks).
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


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Ariadne
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Post by Ariadne » Sat November 29th, 2008, 2:57 pm

Now that's a convincing negative review. (People of the Book was wonderful, fwiw.)

I'm interested in the place and period, and am glad this one finally saw publication, but I've read enough to convince me I don't want to buy or read it. I'm waiting for Kamran Pasha's take on the subject instead (his Mother of the Believers next April).

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Sat November 29th, 2008, 3:08 pm

[quote=""JMJacobsen""]Oh, and I have a feeling Misfit would have launched this book at the wall like a missle (gaping hole in wall and everything!). ;) [/quote]

LOL, I don't even know very much about this book at all, and I'm beginning to be thankful for that after hearing this. :) :)
(The Thornbirds, anyone?)
How right you are. I loved that book way back in the early days but I read it a year or so ago and I ended up scratching my head trying recall what all the fuss was about. Except for Richard Chamberlain in the mini -- I could revisit that.
Last edited by Misfit on Sat November 29th, 2008, 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Sat November 29th, 2008, 3:45 pm

Ouch. that was harsh. But amusing. I liked th elast part about the pulse. :)
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Margaret
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Post by Margaret » Sun December 21st, 2008, 8:40 am

Well, I don't have the expertise of Geraldine Brooks on Islamic history, but I thought The Jewel of Medina was worth reading. It's not a literary novel by any means, but neither are many other novels that nevertheless make enjoyable and worthwhile reading. My main criticism is that A'isha is a child or a very young teenager through most of the novel, so it tends to read like a YA novel, with many of her life challenges being the kind of thing most adult readers long ago stopped struggling with. Yes, she does come across as a bratty 14-year-old sometimes - but don't most 14-year-old girls? And some of the episodes in which she seems at her brattiest come straight out of Islamic biographies of Muhammad. (My review is here.)

It would be great if a novelist of high literary skill took on A'isha's story. There are so few novels set in this fascinating time and place - not surprising, given how much flak the authors who do write about it get. I'm inclined to applaud Jones for her nerve, and hope her novel breaks the ice and encourages others to write about the early years of Islam.
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Post by Ash » Sun December 21st, 2008, 12:11 pm

[quote=""boswellbaxter""]Another review (by author Geraldine Brooks).[/quote]

this cliché-ridden abaya-ripper

Hee, I like this review already

So perhaps the fairest thing is to let the book speak for itself. Aisha's crush, Safwan, is described as: "Tall, handsome Safwan, with the chiseled face of a purebred steed and hair as thick and glossy as a horse's mane." There are words that strike despair into the heart of a reader. "Steed" is one of them. "Loins" another: "Desire burned like a fire in Muhammad's loins, unquenchable in one night, or two, or three." On almost every page, similes jostle each other for room: "Terror snatched at my throat like the teeth of a crazed dog and hammered the city like a hailstorm." And words strain for meaning in sentences such as this: "Outside, a vulture's cry impaled my waning hopes."


Oh My.
Last edited by Ash on Sun December 21st, 2008, 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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