The Story of Maha

The Story of Maha PDF è The Story  PDF/EPUB ²
    The Story of Maha PDF è The Story PDF/EPUB ² in the claustrophobia of the suburbs what she dubs Slumurbia Maha reveals a love for the outrageous as she clashes with the conventions of her community Always a free spirit, she soon learns how to weave around the strict boundaries of Muslim life and as a rebellious teenager, nothing holds her back from experiencing first love, a bit of partying and a tantalising romance all between prayers, of course But when it counts the most, rules must be obeyed and as she heads towards her twentieth birthday, there is no way Maha can avoid Marriage to a Suitable Boy With refreshing energy, Maha treats us to the ups and downs of her passionate though sometimes quite vulnerable young heart, and a life in which she s not quite in charge."/>
  • Paperback
  • The Story of Maha
  • Sumayya Lee
  • English
  • 20 February 2019
  • 0795702450

About the Author: Sumayya Lee

Sumayya Lee was born in Durban, South Africa during apartheid At fifteen, under the tutelage of The Story PDF/EPUB ² an inspirational English teacher, Lee found her calling, yet had no idea how long it would be before her dream of being a writer would be realisedLee married at twenty and studied to be a Montessori Directress during this time Two children later, she was divorced and seeking new direction She did a Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and went on to work with adultsShe is now re married and lives in London with her husband, two children and their cats She is the author of The Story of Maha and Maha, Ever After and is currently working on her third novel.


The Story of Maha[PDF / Epub] ☃ The Story of Maha By Sumayya Lee – Johndore.co.uk The child of a forbidden marriage, Maha grows up happily in Cape Town until her world changes forever when her parents are killed at a political rally At the age of eight, Maha is reclaimed by her lov The child of a forbidden marriage, Maha grows up happily in Cape Town until her world The Story PDF/EPUB ² changes forever when her parents are killed at a political rally At the age of eight, Maha is reclaimed by her loving but staid Indian grandparents and taken to live in Durban Growing up in the claustrophobia of the suburbs what she dubs Slumurbia Maha reveals a love for the outrageous as she clashes with the conventions of her community Always a free spirit, she soon learns how to weave around the strict boundaries of Muslim life and as a rebellious teenager, nothing holds her back from experiencing first love, a bit of partying and a tantalising romance all between prayers, of course But when it counts the most, rules must be obeyed and as she heads towards her twentieth birthday, there is no way Maha can avoid Marriage to a Suitable Boy With refreshing energy, Maha treats us to the ups and downs of her passionate though sometimes quite vulnerable young heart, and a life in which she s not quite in charge.

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10 thoughts on “The Story of Maha

  1. Fadwa (Word Wonders) says:

    Actual rating 3.5 starsFull review originally posted on my blog Word WondersI received a copy of this book from the author in exchange of an honest review This book was quite the hilarious, honest ride Despite being a Muslim myself,I rarely if ever read books about Muslim main characters because I feel like they mostly revolve around religion as the main plot and I DON T LIKE THAT So when I saw the author offering e copies of her book on Twitter I jumped on the occasion and requested i Actual rating 3.5 starsFull review originally posted on my blog Word WondersI received a copy of this book from the author in exchange of an honest review This book was quite the hilarious, honest ride Despite being a Muslim myself,I rarely if ever read books about Muslim main characters because I feel like they mostly revolve around religion as the main plot and I DON T LIKE THAT So when I saw the author offering e copies of her book on Twitter I jumped on the occasion and requested it And what a refreshing surprise it was, I really enjoyed it.Before reading it, I perused the Goodreads reviews most of which were really positive but one thing that stood out to me is how people kept saying that the book is heavy on South african slang, that it was basically written that way, and that people who weren t familiar with it wouldn t get it I must admit it has A LOT of it, which is quite normal but fret not, even though it gets confusing at times, that rarely happens and everything is pretty understandable from contexte That goes for the religious elements as well, they re well explained so even non muslims won t have any trouble understanding what was happening.The writing is so witty and funny that it had me laughing out loud quite a few times, despite it being set in times of apartheid, the book managed to stay light And what was really surprising and amazing about this is how freely it explored puberty oh the GLORIOUS period talk and sex among other subjects that are rarely tackled in books and that can be quite taboo in muslim culture Moving on.The story starts with a brieve story of how Maha s parents met, how they die etc. and it moves on flowing nicely to when she goes to live with her grandparents and how her life unfolds after that What I liked above all is that this was a story about a Muslim girl growing up like every other person, yes, religion is a non negligeable part of it but it is not everything She goes about her life, growing up, having crushes, making mistakes, gossiping and all but here s the thing Her grandparents are the most ancient backwards thinking creatures ever.Maha cannot go to college, she has to have a specific type of friends and her life basically revolves around getting married From the day she gets her period, her grandma starts training her in doing various domestic works so that she can become the perfect wife any suitor dreams of but she s against that and rebels against it in every small, possible way she could She s a little feminist in her own way if you ask me.What I loved about this book though is how it didn t limit itself to the conservative type of Muslim family Through Maha s friends and distant family, Sumayya Lee presents various kinds of muslim families, from the most conservative to the most open minded.I didn t have anything bad against this book whatsover, I was LOVING it, up until a certain thing happens that made me uneasy and it just didn t sit well with me Maha was with her granparents in Mecca which is the holiest place to us Muslims for the small pilgrimage and that is a 100% spiritual experience to strenghten our relationship with God and all No distractions What happens Maha wonders off kissing pretty prince boy who makes her feel things she never felt before and that just made me cringe so much because realistically speaking no one would do that there, no matter how young and foolish I m really curious what my fellow muslim reviewers think of this, so please, tell me because I need to know if you think that s normal So, eventhough I loved everything before and after that, from that point forward I kept thinking about that scene especially when she was talking to about him.I really loved Maha for how confident and sassy she was but also for how much of a typical teenager she was She threw tantrums, was immature at times She had doubts as she was trying to figure out herself and how to balance religion and her granparents very severe restrictions with the things she wanted to do and have Some aspects of that were really relatable to me And I also adored her with Zeenat, she was completely herself around her Their relationships is so realistic, full of ups and downs and Zeenat was kind of a big sister to her.To wrap this all, Maha got her happy ending I loved how it was sort of a compromise making everyone happy Her grandparents included

  2. Naima says:

    I don t know how else to phrase it this book is Important From beginning to end, Lee gave me a coming of age story of a girl belonging to a group that s so quickly and easily dismissed Tell me, when was the last time you d read about a South African, Muslim Indian African mixed girl When was the last time you d read a book that confronts the sexuality of Muslim girls, instead of dismissing all of us as chaste little baby bunnies who couldn t think of a swear if we tried There s no equal t I don t know how else to phrase it this book is Important From beginning to end, Lee gave me a coming of age story of a girl belonging to a group that s so quickly and easily dismissed Tell me, when was the last time you d read about a South African, Muslim Indian African mixed girl When was the last time you d read a book that confronts the sexuality of Muslim girls, instead of dismissing all of us as chaste little baby bunnies who couldn t think of a swear if we tried There s no equal to this book I d rave about it, even if the writing was infantile, if the plot was hanging together by strands But this book is a masterpiece This is a book I regret waiting so long to read Lee s writing style is something I haven t seen before it s incredibly vivid and realistic, to the point where you could Life of Pi style trick people into thinking this is a nonfiction autobiography It s fast, it s quick witted, and it s unafraid to talk about the harsh truths of Africa I ve complained about this to friends being half Moroccan, it s so rare that we see any African Muslims in YA with the exception of exotified Egyptians or a bellydance allusion And reading The Story of Maha was like taking one big gulp of the dry air you don t realize how desperate you are to read something anything that reminds you of your culture until you re reading about nikah certificates and marriage contracts to give women rights instead of the narrative that everything in Islam is to further demean the Woman I don t think I have the right words to describe how good this book is, but I ll try it s an experience, and I recommend reading it yourself to see exactly what I mean Truly, what is The Story of Maha without Maha herself The book hit me particularly hard because, being in the first person, we get a blow by blow of every single reaction she has to anything Her commentary on colorism and racism all of which are exceptionally accurate, and don t sugarcoat at all within Africa as it s during Apartheid and, with her being mixed Indian and black and in a solely Indian family , there s nothing unrealistic with her constant frustrations with how she s treated I think this book is incredibly poignant because of Maha stands at the crux of the sociopolitical problems within this time period she s the clash of cultures that sparked the want for the destruction of Apartheid Aside from the political view of her character, her characterization was flawless it s a rare thing for you to be able to watch a character grow into an adult without a suddenly, disjointed transition in between them becoming a teenager, and in between them becoming an adult You can see the seed of frustration implanted in Maha when she views Gorinani and her daughters being treated better because of their fairer skin, little bits of her personality gleaned from Zeenat that was something I really enjoyed view spoiler watching Maha grow to drive, swear, and smoke like Zeenat, who was,or less, her only positive influence hide spoiler Another thing I really enjoyed was how Maha was allowed to be a Muslim Teenager instead of the Muslim Mini Adults we re always written as I Twitter ranted on this before, but teenagers are rarely allowed to be written as lonely without it being dismissed as teenage angst and invalidated I think something that Lee did incredibly well is to describe Maha s emotional state view spoiler particularly why she hung around Walid so often, despite being uncomfortable with his age and the idea of being his second wife because she craved emotional gratification so desperately that she wasn t picky about where it came from hide spoiler and how isolated she felt As said before, I really appreciated how the book didn t shy away from the idea that Muslims Have Sex Like, there s even a paragraph that just jokes about how everyone assumes we re prudish, but we literally have entire ceremonies to celebrate consummation with five hundred orpeople , and aunties and uncles The Worst when it comes to dirty jokes when they re alone and allowed to be themselves Maha is also allowed to experience sexual desire, though view spoiler I m really glad the relationship with Walid never came to marriage, because the scene where he got her off made me really uncomfortable, considering how she said no , and she was sixteen at the time sexual contact outside of marriage is illegal in Saudi Arabia and the age of consent for marriage is eighteen, so it s not exactly a cultural thing it s him being an advantageous asshole I can understand why she kept coming back to talk to him, however she d never really experience sexual pleasure and, especially considering how she d been previously assaulted and experienced proper revulsion , realistically, she probably wouldn t connect what happened as sexual assault because Walid was So Charming and Rich and Handsome hide spoiler I really liked how Zeenat s aunt was so casual about talking about sex as well, citing how the Creator discusses it with nonchalance as well, and that it s only cultural that we feel so ashamed of it As terrible as it is, one of my favorite parts is when Maha view spoiler opens the letter from her mom It s a complete anticlimax and I think that s what makes it so great Books and children build parents up to bethan they really are just human beings, like anyone else Maha s mother probably wrote that letter in a fit of rage or depression and, thinking that she d probably be able to take it away from Maha s hands before she was 18 herself, never finished it We re so often giving idolizations of parents in novels that, seeing Maha s perception of her parents come slamming into the reality of it was incredibly satisfying if not really painful.In a similar vein, my one fear reading this book was how Maha s father was going to be treated in the narrative he s the only 100% black African in the novel with a major role save for the mentions of political figures in the background and, initially, I was pretty upset when it was revealed that he was cheating It s such a stereotype All Black Men Cheat that I was worried it was internalized antiblackness especially because he cheats twice, and it s emphasized that the woman he was cheating with was a black woman but it s inevitably resolved by Maha very bluntly asking Zeenat if he cheated just because he was black something she had internalized form Gorinani To which Zeenat responds that, no, cheating men come in all races, and not one of them is predisposed to it which gives Maha closure Which gave me closure, because I was sweating having to review this book if that thread was left unresolved hide spoiler I think, aside from Maha who I painfully related to, being on the cusp of adulthood myself and feeling as though I m Barely Grasping It , Zeenat was my favorite character I feel like she was written to be a likable character, to be honest, but that doesn t erase the fact that she felt like the older sister I always wanted and, really, I appreciated her being the voice of reason onthan one occasion Maha s occasional melodrama and problems caused by her acting before she could think needed to be called out view spoiler like when she messes around with the Aapa s brother solely because she s on a power trip and feels untouchable hide spoiler because she s so isolated from the family because of her parentage, Zeenat s voice is really the only one that reaches her like I said above, she s the only one to have a positive and honest relationship with her one where she can curse up a storm and ask about her parents view spoiler Maha also had Main Character Syndrome halfway through and, assuming that she s just So Important, calls Zeenat to ask for advice for her problems Even though she hasn t called in so long to just talk Zeenat calls her out on her shit and, really, that was a Good Moment hide spoiler All in all, what a way to end my year

  3. Brendon says:

    See original review on my blog received a free e copy of this book in exchange for an open and honest review.When I first started blogging about books, I had a small understanding of what diverse literature and stories were I thought mostly about diverse authors from the United States and less about global perspectives I also failed to acknowledge the many intersections of identities that were missing from published literature As I continue to grow i See original review on my blog received a free e copy of this book in exchange for an open and honest review.When I first started blogging about books, I had a small understanding of what diverse literature and stories were I thought mostly about diverse authors from the United States and less about global perspectives I also failed to acknowledge the many intersections of identities that were missing from published literature As I continue to grow in this journey as a book blogger, I am discovering and learning aboutOwnVoices books One of these books is The Story of Maha by Sumayya Lee This beautifully written coming of age story follows Maha, a South African Indian Muslim girl during Apartheid in South Africa, from her childhood through her teenage years After Maha s parents are killed tragically in a political rally, she is relocated from Cape Town to the suburbs to live with her extended family.For me, the story started off very slow and I found myself having a difficult time getting in the flow and the story However, as I progressed through the different experiences of Maha growing up, I becameengrossed andattached to Maha as a character It was similar to getting to know a good friend slowly over time and I think the author deserves a lot of credit for not only writing style but how Sumayya Lee constructed the story to build off experiences The story deals with tragedy and love and loss and growing up and rebellion Against a background of angst and struggle are charming vignettes of how Maha navigates her new environment in the suburbs, and how Maha navigates her culture, religion, and her grandparents The stories range from heartbreaking to hilarious Maha is such a dynamic person and character I loved each and every struggle and adventure.The Story of Maha is chalk full of culture and language, which makes the book very immersive for the reader, regardless of they background The use of Gujrati is peppered throughout and the story does not pause to explain or translate for the reader This in my opinion is a good thing The conversations and thought process of Maha is natural because of the writing and the use of language In some instances, the reader is learning slang along with Maha, but the intention of the language is not to educate readers outside of this culture As a reader, I found enough context clues to understand what was going on and the feelings in the different scenes The Story of Maha addresses pretty large concepts such as colorism, gender roles, and classism in the Indo South African Muslim community From the moment the book talks about Maha s parents, the issue of skin color and hair texture becomes a common refrain among Maha s grandparents While Maha is learning to accept herself and becoming proud of how she looks, she experiences the effects of Apartheid in South Africa, which leads her to exploreabout her parents and their activism These views continue as Maha grows older and the inevitable search for a Marriage to a Suitable Boy by her grandparents ensues The choice for a suitable partner has a lot to do with family name, family origin, wealth, and race These moments happen within a culture context, one that is not shared in mainstream literature often and one that is stereotyped and portrayed negatively Whether you agree or disagree, whether this is similar to your experience or different, there is validity, authenticity, and truth in Maha s experience The incorporation of Islam and spiritual beliefs was done in a very positive way While Maha often butts up against her religious traditions, she also had a positive incorporation of her beliefs and traditions in her daily life A lot of the topics discussed in conversation between Maha and her friends role models seemed normal for teenagers to explore however, they tend to fall outside of the conservative values presented in the culture Through a western lens, we often interpret this as bad While there may be issues to talk about or resolve, this is not how we should be viewing these stories The incorporation of religion in the story is an essential part of Maha s life experience and allows the author to tell a very personal story of how a teenager navigates and makes meaning within this context Wow I did not know what to expect when I received this book All I knew was a brief one line description And this book does not disappoint The Story of Maha hits everything I am looking for in a coming of age book steeped in culture and traditions, positive representation of diverse people, struggles of a teen, times of hardship and times of joy, subtle humor that warms the heart, and outright rebellion against the rules I would highly recommend adding this book to you to read list and starting it right away Sumayya Lee has written a unique gem from an OwnVoices perspective.Final Rating 4.7 5

  4. Jana says:

    3.5 I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.This is an own voices book about a girl who loses her parents at a political rally and then grows up at her loving but strict grandparents It s about her as a rebellious teenager but in the end inevitably facing marriage to a suitable young man and it really just feels like an account of a young person s life.I thought it was very good The fact that it s ownvoices obviously makes it even better, and I really enjoy rea 3.5 I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.This is an own voices book about a girl who loses her parents at a political rally and then grows up at her loving but strict grandparents It s about her as a rebellious teenager but in the end inevitably facing marriage to a suitable young man and it really just feels like an account of a young person s life.I thought it was very good The fact that it s ownvoices obviously makes it even better, and I really enjoy reading books like these written by people who know what they re talking about It was overall really enjoyable, even though there were parts of the book that I just didn t quite click with I would definitely recommend this book to everyone looking to expand their reading horizons and wanting to readdiversely without wanting to read books with for example Muslim characters where their religion and their struggle with it is the main focus, but instead want normal every day life stories like you get so many from white characters and authors, but for people from other cultures

  5. Doula Umm says:

    quirky and hilarious loved the use of slang and gujarati as an indo african of gujrati descent I identified with so much of the book however im unsure that people reading the book, who are not from that same society would quite grasp the essence of mahas life and what exactly it meant to be maha in this society however bravo to sumayya for a brilliant attempt at encapsulating what it means to be part of the indo_african community within the south african context.

  6. Juwi says:

    This book is so good Not only is it the first book of its kind South African Muslim author writing about the South African Indian Muslim community but it also highlights the fact that Apartheid impacted EVERYONE including the Indians in South Africa Although it is set in Apartheid South Africa, the book is also really funny, even if you don t speak gujarati and aren t from South Africa it is still a good read and highlights a lot of issues within certain communities also i really like Adam This book is so good Not only is it the first book of its kind South African Muslim author writing about the South African Indian Muslim community but it also highlights the fact that Apartheid impacted EVERYONE including the Indians in South Africa Although it is set in Apartheid South Africa, the book is also really funny, even if you don t speak gujarati and aren t from South Africa it is still a good read and highlights a lot of issues within certain communities also i really like Adam i think he was the cutest Anyways, so glad there is a sequel Happy Reading

  7. Rania T says:

    Laugh out loud funny and Maha gets into some pretty awkward situations with guys

  8. Maria says:

    This book was laugh out loud funny I highly recommend it.

  9. Mugs Gitau says:

    Such a delightful read

  10. Cynthia Amondi says:

    It started well but the ending sort of faltered Great read overall