Tag: Jew

Guest Review: No Sex in the City

Posted September 27, 2012 by jus_de_fruit in Chick Lit, Guest Posts / 0 Comments

Guest Review: No Sex in the CityTitle: No Sex in the City (Goodreads)
Author: Randa Abdel-Fattah
Published: Pan Macmillan, 2012
Pages: 400
Genres: Chick Lit
My Copy: ARC from Publisher

Buy: Book Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

I read a bit of chick-lit in my early to late twenties. It was fun to read and didn’t require much brainpower. It was easy to relate to, as a young woman experiencing a similar, yet more toned down, sort of life. My tastes may have changed in recent years.  Apart from Stephanie Plum, I’m not sure the last time I read a book that fell into the chick-lit genre. Now I seem to go after historical time travelling romances. I think I lost the ability to relate with those young women trying to find Mr Right and it started to get a bit mundane, although I suppose I could still enjoy it.  My husband’s taste in books may have also redirected my attentions.

I heard about No Sex in the City when I heard an interview with Randa Abdel-Fattah on the radio. I was fascinated by her stories of parent arranged dating and was intrigued.  It’s something completely different to my own life experience.  I did once ask my dad who he would pick if arranged marriages were a thing of our culture, and after hearing his choice, I was pretty glad that wasn’t a thing.

Randa Abdel-Fattah is an Australian born Muslim of Palestinian and Egyptian heritage who seems to have achieved quite a bit in her life working as a human rights advocate and has an interest in interfaith dialogue. These interests come through in this book, as the characters are a mix of faiths.  The main character Esma is a Muslim and her best friends who form the No Sex in the City club are a Greek Orthodox, a Jew and a Hindu. An interesting combination.

Esma is trying to find the right man to settle down with, but at 28 her family are feeling a bit desperate, but Esma knows what she wants and doesn’t feel the need to settle for anything less.  Pressure from work colleagues tell her that perhaps she should just give up, play the field a bit and see what she likes but she’s pretty set on sharing her first kiss with her husband on their wedding day.

As a young Christian woman who was reading chick-lit back in the day, there was quite a bit of falling into bed with strangers that may or may not be Mr Right. I suppose it is a reflection of the society that we live in, and quite a few young women are able to relate, but I found this book so refreshing for not being afraid to illustrate the life of a young woman living a life of chastity.  The book isn’t completely prudish, as other characters choose different paths, but this is who Esma is, and she isn’t going to apologise for that. Even though the main character is a Muslim, I’d probably recommend this to Christian women as well, as they probably get disillusioned by the way certain media portrays sex.

The book is quite easy to read and completes the check list usually found in all the others of this genre. There are problems at work and within her family that she needs to overcome, and there is a bit of a love triangle that is developed. We also get to follow the stories of her three friends as they also have their own experience of dating.

It doesn’t finish with a typical happily ever after for all the characters but you can’t help but feel that it’s all for the best.  I really enjoyed journeying with this group of young women who all seemed to know what they wanted out of life and never felt the need to settle for less. I’d probably even read more if this book was turned into a series, as I found the characters to be very likeable.

This is a guest post by Mary; not only is she my wonderful wife, she is also my editor and helps moderate the Literary Exploration group on Goodreads. Big thanks to her for this post and everything she does to help me with this blog.