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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the way I like my books Aug. 10 2013
By jsrountree - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book was everything I thought it would be a a great read. An unpredictable ending, great imagery, interesting plot and to top it off it was an old library book!!! An English major's dream! It still had the book check out card in the back and the pages were yellowing. It was prefect. Great add on to my collection.

I don't think that's how they all come if you're not into the vintage used look.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!! Sept. 20 2011
By Avid Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I loved this book a lot and kept wondering why it is not a bestseller like "Kite Runner" and "cutting for Stone." It is a family saga that takes place in Sudan and has a lot of insight on Sudanese and Arabic culture. I highly recommend it. Leila Aboulela is an excellent story teller and writer.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my Type April 22 2013
By Clive J. Payne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I should have investigated more on this book before purchasing as even though it's okay it's not my type! Sorry Leila
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