My Accidental Jihad

A Love Story

Bremer, Krista

Book - 2014
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
My Accidental Jihad
A full-length account of a Pushcart Prize-winning essay describes the author's experiences as the journalist wife of a Libyan-born Muslim with whom she lives in the American south, a relationship that has endured prejudices and respective views about family and parenting. Homeland insecurity. Choices ; Genie ; New life ; Joining the tribe ; Expecting ; Promises -- Foreigners. Motherhood ; Desire ; Gifts ; Welcome ; Hijabi Barbie ; Freedom ; Rage ; Bartering ; Covering ; Escape -- Homecoming. Betrayal ; Liberation ; Surrender ; Prayer ; Celebration ; Home.

Publisher: Chapel Hill, North Carolina :, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill,, 2014.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781616200688
Characteristics: 287 pages ;,22 cm


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Jul 29, 2014
  • ehbooklover rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I chose to read this examination of an intercultural marriage when I saw the glowing review from Cheryl Strayed on the cover (Her book, “Wild”, is one of my favourite biographies). Unfortunately, it was just OK. While parts were interesting, there were many times the author was so long-winded that I found myself quickly flipping ahead so I could try to figure out how many more pages there were until I finally finished the book. That’s never a good sign.

May 21, 2014
  • CecileSune rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Krista Bremer, a South California girl who loves surfing, has just moved to North Carolina to study journalism when she meets Ismail Suayah, a Libyan older man from a poor, illiterate Muslim family. Soon they become a couple, but an unplanned pregnancy early in their relationship forces them to make choices. They decide to keep the baby and get married. My Accidental Jihad chronicles the challenges and rewards of a bi-cultural marriage.

I thought the title of the book was particularly well chosen: “accidental” refers to the unplanned pregnancy, and “jihad” means “effort” or “struggle” in Arabic, which conveys the difficulties of keeping a marriage alive. Krista Bremer is honest about her feelings, and is not afraid of asking questions. In addition, her descriptions are filled with beautiful imagery, and I thought her trip to Libya was really interesting because it opens the reader’s eyes to a different way of living. However, I would have liked to know what was the reaction of Krista’s family, especially her parents, when she told them she was going out with a Libyan. Did their perception of him change after 9/11? There must have been some prejudice about Muslims. I also thought that some parts of the book were a bit slow. In the end though, the book is a lesson in tolerance and acceptance, and it shows that Islam is all about surrender, that we need to accept that some aspects of our lives are out of our control.

Please go to my blog, Cecile Sune - Bookobsessed, if you would like to read more reviews or discover fun facts about books and authors.


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