by Shaila Abdullah
Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: Modern History Press; 1st edition (February 5, 2009)
Description (Author's Website)
"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."
This book is simply stunning. I don't think I've ever read a book with the depth and eloquency of Saffron Dreams. Shaila Abdullah spins a story so beautifully that each sentence is like the richest of desserts. I couldn't put this book down because I was mesmerized by a side of the 9/11 story I'd never heard before. Excellent writing pulls you into the life of Arissa, making you feel like you are right next to her, experiencing what she is experiencing. I was unprepared for how raw I felt as Arissa watched the destruction of the towers and realized her husband was probably dead..the description of those moments were heartbreaking. I felt her panic and sense of futility as she rushed down to the site where the towers used to be. As Abdullah carries us along with Arissa as she tries to put her shattered life back together after this tragedy, you get so invested with this character. Shaila Abdullah's storytelling skills are unsurpassed and I can't wait to see what she writes next. In case you haven't figured it out, I'd recommend this book in a heartbeat to everyone! In the first place it's just an excellent book, and secondly I think it gives us a glimpse into a time that our country wasn't so welcoming to others and how that affected those people.
I also wanted to point out that Shaila is responsible for designing this gorgeous cover for the book. It looks great online, but even better in person!
Reading Guide For Saffron Dreams
Shaila's Guest Post
My Interview with Shaila