Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction
Source: purchased copy
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“Brilliant idea! Excellent! Muslim dating? Well, I had no idea you were allowed to date.’ Then he leaned towards me and looked at me sympathetically. ‘Are your parents quite disappointed?’
Unlucky in love once again after her possible-marriage-partner-to-be proves a little too close to his parents, Sofia Khan is ready to renounce men for good. Or at least she was, until her boss persuades her to write a tell-all expose about the Muslim dating scene.
As her woes become her work, Sofia must lean on the support of her brilliant friends, baffled colleagues and baffling parents as she goes in search of stories for her book. In amongst the marriage-crazy relatives, racist tube passengers and decidedly odd online daters, could there be a a lingering possibility that she might just be falling in love . . . ?
Ayisha Malik’s Sofia Khan is Not Obliged is labelled a ‘heartwarming romantic comedy’ and I can’t think of anything that better encapsulates what this story is about. I wasn’t expecting to laugh as much as I did when reading this book but it was hilarious, (like laugh-out-loud on the tube and have people stare at you for the next three stops, funny).
So, the story follows Sofia Khan while she attempts to write a book about Muslims dating which has many (hilarious) twists and turns. Ayisha Malik manages to honestly portray a lifestyle of the average, Western, Muslim woman without generalising or attempting to suggest all Muslim women who live in London are a carbon copy of this main character, She explores the lifestyles of a number of different Muslim women and men in a single story, portraying a realistic painting of the different roles religion plays in individual lives.
As a young Muslim woman who lives in London, I really connected with Sofia Khan on many levels and just as a main character, she made me laugh and I instantly loved reading from her perspective. She’s sarcastic and snarky, and a lot of the issues she faced being a hijabi in a Western society, from family members and strangers alike, I have also experienced, so I felt a strong sense of empathy and attachment towards her.
Sofia Khan is Not Obliged was honestly addictive and I cannot wait for the second book, and anything else Ayisha Malik writes in the future. Will definitely be shoving this on to all of my reader and non-reader friends.
“Where’s your umbrella?”
“Why do you think I wear a hijab? Part religious reasons, part good sense.”