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Lyrics Alley [Paperback]

Leila Aboulela
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is the second book by this author that I have read--and quite honestly could NOT put it down. The author is a beautiful writer--and having travelled through the Middle East and specifically Egypt I could actually see and 'feel' the surroundings.I was swept into the story of Sudan/Egypt--and an influential family's way through life-- centered predominantly from the voices of the women during the 50's. This era sets the seeds for much of the Middle East's exploding tensions today--with the backdrop of commerce,domestic life, class and religion intercepting into political streams. The story is fairly autobiographical --and the tension on conservative traditional ideals contrasting with liberal, more modern practises provides great debating moments for a book group out there somewhere. Highly recommend.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lyrics Alley - A Fascinating Book June 29 2011
By Beth Cummings - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed Leila Aboulela's novel, "Lyrics Aley." It is the story of a Sudanese merchant's family during the early 1050s as Sudan was preparing to become a nation on its own after being connceted to Egypt and being a British colony. The family patriarch, Mahmous Abuzeid, is a successful businessman who has followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather making a living buying and selling. His grandfather had a stall in a the bazaar, but now the business has warehouses and shipping in both Sudan and Egypt. Mahmoud Abuzeid also has a wife from both Sudan and Egypt. His Sudanese wife is an older village woman and the mother of his two oldest sons, Nassir and Nur. His Egyptian wife is young, sophisticated and the mother of a young son and daughter. The disparities between these two women and their expectations form a partial basis for the plot. Another large part comes from a tragic accident that befalls the second son, Nur.

The world around the Abuzeid family is rapidly changing and each part of the family needs to learn to cope with these changes. The book gives interesting insight into Sudanese life and the social and political differences between Sudan and Egypt. It makes the current split within Sudan a more understandable situation.

I found the book to be fascinating. I would recommend it to readers who enjoy books about different cultures, history told as story and family drama as a way to learn about the world.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very engrossing and thought-provoking Sept. 13 2013
By Ethel Gullette - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful and evocative novel, set in a most interesting time and place. The characters are extremely well-drawn, and the mix of personal story with cultural and historical context is great.
4.0 out of 5 stars Tough cnacer story May 26 2014
By Margot Thibodeau - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having been a psychotherapist and having a child with cancer, I was initially turned off by the opening of this book. In the end, however, I found the story to be realistic which makes it not an easy book to read - probably not for anyone in the midst of acute cancer or their family members.
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing May 15 2014
By Thomas P. Odonnell - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The story is weak and poorly developed. The evolution of the characters is unconvincing and poorly developed. It could have been a good book with more insight into the characters.
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read. May 10 2014
By Judy Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a surprisingly wonderful novel with well developed characters, an intriguing analysis of cultural and class differences and a carefully developed plot that actually resolves in a believable fashion. So many current novels wind up with either an abrupt end or an unbelievable, albeit 'happy' ending that this one actually works!
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