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Book Review of Nine Parts of Desire : The Hidden World of Islamic Women

Nine Parts of Desire : The Hidden World of Islamic Women
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Helpful Score: 2

I'll admit up front that Geraldine Brooks is one of my favorite authors. This non-fiction book is never dry or dull. She obviously knows her subject and shares the information in a way that makes you feel as if you're having an intimate conversation over a glass of wine or two.

The book provides several interesting perspectives on the role of women under Islam. Through relationships built over years and scores of interviews, Ms. Brooks gives voice to the women who have been impacted by the varying interpretations of the Koran. And the voices are not all opposed to what we might consider appalling violations of human rights (at a minimum) - not at all. This diversity of opinions and experiences is what makes the book so fascinating and frustrating at the same time. The book is full of information about how the Koran is interpreted by Muslims and non-Muslims and how the interpretation of a single word can mean the difference between freedom and devastating powerlessness for women and girls.

It is a book that leaves you with so much to think about and feeling somewhat torn - what we see as heinous, others embrace as their culture or, even stronger, as the word of God. At times difficult to read due to Ms. Brooks' journalistic commitment to the truth, but well worth reading and sharing.