Author: Leila Aboulela
Translator: Rahmani Astuti
Publisher: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama, October 2011
But things change bit by bit. It is all begun when Sammar acts as a translator for Ray Isles, an Islamic Researcher from Scotland. From strong friendship, it blossoms into a romantic thing. When they begin to fall in love, Sammar realizes it won't be easy. As a muslim, Sammar thought she can't have a romantic relationship without a marriage nor she can have a marriage without Rae's conversion to muslim.
This delicate conflict brings Sammar back to Khartoum, Sudan where she contemplates about her life all over again. A mixture of love story between mankind and his God which is very complex yet touching. A story about a brave woman who stays true to her belief, herself and her love.
Reading Aboulela's story reminds me of Indian writers, i.e. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and Jhumpa Lahiri. Not completely similar but they can convey their stories in a detail and delicate way. Fascinating.
This book is nominated for the Orange Prize and was chosen as a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times in 2006.