Thursday, September 30, 2010

Butterfly Mosque-Last Day

This is the last day of September and everyone has finished reading the book now so let's talk!  I'll throw out some questions.

What did you think of the title and how it applied to the story?

What did you think of the author's style?

What did you think of her conversion story?

What did you think of her sojourn in Egypt?

What if anything struck you about her story?

Would you read a sequel if she wrote one?

What would you ask her to include in such a sequel?

The book is not in my hands now so I will have to go by memory with this. The first thing though that struck me when I opened the book is that she got funding from Canada even though she is an American. I'd like to know the story behind that. So let's begin!


  1. Wow when you google this book there are a ton of links. Here is one of an interview with her.

  2. Asalaamu alaikum,
    I am going on memory too! : (
    Funding from Canada, for what? Writing? It is nice to find connections in what you read. I became Muslim in Boston the summer before 9/11, she converted after---It doesn't seems like a big connection written down, but I felt that that time was really special in Boston. There seemed to be a lot of women coming to Islam. Something I do not see these days, perhaps depending on my location, and sub-par resources at our masjids here.
    The funny thing is her experience as a convert is different because she comes out as a Muslim and spend her time learning in Cairo. For converts here the masjid can be a BIG thing, a place to feel muslim, and be a part of community. She didn't get that. I'm not saying it is bad. I think she was blessed to avoid the politics and policing that can happen at masjids here. I know she had a whole separate set of cultural issues to deal with though.
    I was impressed by her adaptation and understanding of Egyptian culture. She didn't sugar coat it, nor denigrate it. I loved her observation of other ex pats becoming bitter and racist by their inability to adapt or understand fully the culture they were in.
    I was not offended by anything she wrote, strangely. I was second guessing myself--why I would be so critical of the last two authors we read, but I don't think she gave any opportunity to be offended.
    I would love a sequel. More about adjusting to life here, her plans for life, and MUCH more about her husband and his experience of the whole thing.
    (This is going to have to be a review of many pieces, as I remember more, and since I have to get the morning home school started.)

  3. Wa Alaikum Salaam

    Yes she got funding from Canada to write her book. It says so in the front of the book. I found it odd. Now to answer my own questions. DD1 says she is quite busy but insha Allah she will chime in soon.

    1. I don't quite get how the title applies to the story and I read the description she gave over and over again. I must be missing something. Maybe the mosque represents herself.

    2. I loved the author's style. She is so deep and thoughtful and speaks with an educated voice. It was really different from the last few books we've read.She seems like a very intelligent, introspective soul.

    3. Her conversion story reminded me of Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens. I was kind of glad she became muslim before meeting a guy which usually isn't the case (cough, cough), well at least I was searching when I met dh.

    4. I can't believe how long she lasted in Egypt under those conditions. I would have left right away; the food was disgusting. I am so glad that Malaysia wasn't even that bad!

    5. I was impressed that she took a side trip to Iran. That was a very good idea.

    6. I would love to read a sequel. I felt like we were just left hanging. I kept thinking about the story after I read it.

    7. I wish she would talk about what its like to be a convert in the US and how her husband adapted and whether she wants kids and about her writing career. Also how her family sees her as a muslim when she is in the US instead of far away in Egypt where they don't have it in their face so to speak.

    I would highly recommend this book. Yes I too was waiting to be offended but was not. She is a very balanced writer. She puts a lot of thought into everything she does.