This is a sensitive and intelligent book about a woman who has an affluent and Westernized childhood in Sudan, but then loses wealth, status and close family as the result of a coup. She settles in the UK and drifts through a succession of menial jobs, and she is surprised evenutally to discover her sense of identity through Islam.
I found this novel useful in that it explains that, contrary to the stereotype, Islam can empower women, and that there can be a strong feminine and even feminist undercurrent in the Mosque.
My only difficulties with this book lie in the style: many sentences employ the splicing comma, which interrupts the rhythm of the prose; and much of it is written in the present tense, which creates a sense of dream-like parenthesis. All of this enhances the bewilderment and ambiguity of the narrative, but in places it makes the story drift unnecessarily.
Altogether a very fine novel and one I would recommend to men, women, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.