Book review – Days of ignorance

days-of-ignoranceDays of ignorance
By Laila Aljohani;translated by Nancy Roberts
Published by Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation
ISBN 9789992195192
Price £9.99 Hardback

Flinging wide a window onto the second holiest Islamic city – a city in which people observe daily prayers and preach equality and justice – Days of Ignorance is a novel about honour, hypocrisy, war and fear. And, glimmering beyond, beneath and behind it all, love.

In Medina, Saudi Arabia, a young man, Malek, has been brutally attacked for being of the ‘wrong’ race.

Malek’s lover, Leen, waits by his bedside and reflects on their relationship and her life as an unmarried, childless woman. All around her are voices of judgment and concern; in the 21st century it is still unforgivable, and dangerous, for a Saudi woman to enter into a relationship with a black man. In the distance American planes hover over Iraq, primed to embark on yet another senseless conflict. Malek’s attacker was Leen’s brother.


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