The Kindness of Enemies by Leila Aboulela

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Read The Kindness of Enemies Online Free - “A versatile prose stylist... [Aboulela’s] lyrical style and incisive portrayal of Muslims living in the West received praise from the Nobel Prize winner J. M. Coetzee... [she is] a voice for multiculturalism.”—New York Times

It’s 2010 and Natasha, a half Russian, half Sudanese professor of history, is researching the life of Imam Shamil, the 19th century Muslim leader who led the anti-Russian resistance in the Caucasian War. When shy, single Natasha discovers that her star student, Oz, is not only descended from the warrior but also possesses Shamil’s priceless sword, the Imam’s story comes vividly to life. As Natasha’s relationship with Oz and his alluring actress mother intensifies, Natasha is forced to confront issues she had long tried to avoid—that of her Muslim heritage. When Oz is suddenly arrested at his home one morning, Natasha realizes that everything she values stands in jeopardy.

Told with Aboulela’s inimitable elegance and narrated from the point of view of both Natasha and the historical characters she is researching, The Kindness of Enemies is both an engrossing story of a provocative period in history and an important examination of what it is to be a Muslim in a post 9/11 world.

Title : The Kindness of Enemies
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0802124488
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 pages


Carol rated it ★★★★☆

June 10, 2016

The Kindness of Enemies deserves two ratings - 5 stars for the portion of it that is set in the 1850s (in the Caucauses and in Russia), in the third person, and focused primarily on Imam Shamil, a highlander Muslim warrior at war with the Russians (an actual historical figure) and Anna, a Georgia...

Susan rated it ★★★☆☆

September 27, 2015

I have never read anything by Leila Aboulela before; but knowing she has won the Caine Prize, the Scottish Book Award and has been shortlisted for several other awards, as well as having two books on the Orange Prize long list, I was eager to review this new book. Aboulela grew up in Khartoum and...

Ron rated it ★★★★☆

January 04, 2016

The flames of Sept. 11, 2001, not only recast America’s future, they illuminated a long-neglected history of conflict between the West and certain strains of Islam. Suddenly, for many of us, the present day had malignant roots we’d never recognized. Salman Rushdie recently added to the library of...

Pia rated it ★★★★★

December 28, 2015

In this beautifully written book by Leila Aboulela there are two stories: One is the story of Natasha, half Sudanese-half Russian, who has grown up in Scotland and lost all of her roots. The other is the story of Imam Shamil, a Muslim warrior battling the Russians in the 19th century and of Princ...

Lila rated it ★★★★★

March 24, 2017

This fascinating and wonderful novel flicks back and forth telling two parallel stories and linking two different time periods. It's a book about multiculturalism, understanding other cultures and finding one's own identity in a multicultural world. Leila Aboulela creates the character Natasha, a...

Taryn rated it ★★★★☆

November 16, 2015

When news broke last week of attacks in Beirut, Paris, and other cities around the world, as I always do, I turned to fiction to help make sense of the ongoing tragedy. Of course there isn’t any real sense to be found in the violent deaths of innocents; there never is. But suddenly my reading of...

Missy J rated it ★★★☆☆

March 21, 2017

First time to encounter a work by Leila Aboulela. The Kindness of Enemies is a dual narrative; one story takes place in Scotland in 2010, while the other story is based on the life of Imam Shamil (a Muslim political and religious leader, who fought against the Russians) and takes place predominan...

DubaiReader rated it ★★★☆☆

July 06, 2017

Identity and belonging. It took me quite a while to get into this book, I kept putting it down because it just wasn't grabbing me. Having given four stars to Lyric's Alley by the same author this was a bit disappointing, but I persevered and as a result I have learned about a time in history that...

Beverly rated it ★★★★★

April 02, 2017

This was a 4.5 read for me. Thoughts coming shortly

Annette rated it ★★★★☆

October 14, 2015

The kindness of Enemies by Leila Aboulela was a Goodreads First Reads win This is a book about identity and belonging. It questions whether religious identity is with you from birth, or whether upbringing and culture are the main forces which create it. Two stories interweave, one in the present,...

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