Title: Tight Rope
Author: Sahar AbdulAziz
Pages: 350 pages
Genre: Dark, Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Djarabi Kitabs Publishing; 1 edition (June 1, 2017)
This is not usually my preferred genre (but dare to be different right?). Tight Rope touches on issues in the American community and all other diverse communities today. Issues like Islamophobia, bigotry, racism, violence, crime and mental illness. It also points out the discrimination within the Muslim community. The book is written in chapters each from the point of view of a character. It was a bit confusing at first but the ways she merged the lives of the characters was brilliant.
The characters are real and relatable. There is Nour, a young African-American Muslim who is a social activist. She tries to balance the stress in her life, work and her ill health. Her work puts her at risk of receiving racist threats. One stalker, however, invokes a strong psychological and physical fear in her. She is determined to be the voice of change. will she back down? Maria (prefers to be referred to as Maryam) is a Hispanic revert whose family does not support her new religion. Her mother is very funny and dramatic. Zaid works in his father’s deli. He is pretty cool and may have the hots for the nurse who comes regularly to the deli. Russell is a white racist who blames immigrants for everything wrong in his life. He is married to Doris who is emotionally and mentally unstable. Then Eugene who is a hitman for hire. Oh! and not to forget Shane, the Muslim soldier and all the cool doctors.
Sahar AbdulAziz is a great storyteller. She did a good job bringing her characters to life. I was on the edge of my seat turning pages and taking deep breaths. I enjoyed Tight rope and will be interested in other books by the author.
I enjoyed the budding relationship between Zaid and the nurse. I was honestly rooting for them (Yes! I love love) plus it was a breath of fresh air with the many dark events in the book. I also like Doris’ crazy mind (No! I do not have a knack for crazy). I just found her really amusing and I realised that most crazy people have moments of clarity and I will always wonder what web their minds spin in those moments. The swear words were well, not my usual turf but the author may have used it to make the book seem real. The movie, the great debaters came to my mind when I read Nour’s speech.
I realised the horror that Muslims in such areas may face daily and the blessing in my life that I am able to practice my religion easily in my community. I also learnt the difference between Hispanic and Latinos. LOL!
The book is well written and has great lessons (I believe in making every experience educational) so I will recommend it to everyone. After reading this book, you will start to check yourself and maybe see how you can be better or how better you have it. Indeed! Change begins with YOU!