Saffron Dreams by Shaila Abdullah
From the publisher:
Saffron Dreams is a tale of love, tragedy, and redemption from the award-winning author of Beyond the Cayenne Wall…
You don’t know you’re a misfit until you are marked as an outcast.
From the darkest hour of American history emerges a mesmerizing tale of tender love, a life interrupted, and faith recovered. Arissa Illahi, a Muslim artist and writer, discovers in a single moment that no matter how carefully you map your life, it is life itself that chooses your destiny. After her husband’s death in the collapse of the World Trade Center, the discovery of his manuscript marks Arissa’s reconnection to life. Her unborn son and the unfinished novel fuse in her mind into one life-defining project that becomes, at once, the struggle for her emotional survival and the redemption of her race. Saffron Dreams is a novel about our ever evolving identities and the events and places that shape them. It reminds us that in the midst of tragedy, our dreams can become a lasting legacy.
I was really intrigued when I saw this book reviewed at Swapna’s blog; then, when I won it in her giveaway I was elated. Now it has been so long since I read it (the beginning of October!) that I can barely remember it, but I can remember that I enjoyed it. Although Arissa’s life often felt hopeless, she continued to find a way and a reason to live through every difficulty she encountered.
Abdullah’s prose was somewhat sparse, but the writing was solid. The entire thing had a bit of a dreamy feel to it, as if Arissa was living in a bit of a haze, which was probably very realistic.
I loved that this examined both the difficulties of being Muslim in post-9/11 America as well as the pain of losing a loved one on 9/11, and all in the guise of one character. Recommended.