A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum

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Number of Pages: 339

Audiobook Narrated by:  Ariana Delawari , Dahlia Salem, Susan Nezami ,  

Goodreads rating: 4.25

Published in: 2019


Palestine, 1990. Seventeen-year-old Isra prefers reading books to entertaining the suitors her father has chosen for her. Over the course of a week, the naïve and dreamy girl finds herself quickly betrothed and married, and is soon living in Brooklyn. There Isra struggles to adapt to the expectations of her oppressive mother-in-law Fareeda and strange new husband Adam, a pressure that intensifies as she begins to have children—four daughters instead of the sons Fareeda tells Isra she must bear.

Brooklyn, 2008. Eighteen-year-old Deya, Isra’s oldest daughter, must meet with potential husbands at her grandmother Fareeda’s insistence, though her only desire is to go to college. Deya can’t help but wonder if her options would have been different had her parents survived the car crash that killed them when Deya was only eight. But her grandmother is firm on the matter: the only way to secure a worthy future for Deya is through marriage to the right man.

But fate has a will of its own, and soon Deya will find herself on an unexpected path that leads her to shocking truths about her family—knowledge that will force her to question everything she thought she knew about her parents, the past, and her own future.

Praise for A Woman Is No Man

A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum is a stunning debut novel that hooked me from page one.  With the utterly compelling characters, Rum accomplishes the high-wire act of telling a story that feels both contemporary and timeless, intimate and epic. This is a novel you devour in a few precious sittings, that you press into the hands of friends and family, that lingers in your heart and mind long after the last page.” — Tara Conklin, author of The Last Romantics

Quotes from A Woman Is No Man

“Books were my armour. Everything I’d ever learned growing up, all my thoughts, dreams, goals, experiences, it all came from the books I read. It was like I went around collecting knowledge, plucking it from pages and storing it up, waiting for a chance to use it.”

“It’s hard to belong anywhere, truly belong, if we don’t belong to ourselves first.”

About the Author

Etaf Rum is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants and raised in New York. also runs the Instagram account @booksandbeans and is also a Book of the Month Club Ambassador

Author’s interview: Etaf Rum talks about her novel, “A Woman is No Man.”

YouTube video

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Stephy George
Stephy George

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