Book Review

Review – The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafah


Afaf Rahman, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is the principal of Nurrideen School for Girls, a Muslim school in the Chicago suburbs. One morning, a shooter―radicalized by the online alt-right―attacks the school.

As Afaf listens to his terrifying progress, we are swept back through her memories: the bigotry she faced as a child, her mother’s dreams of returning to Palestine, and the devastating disappearance of her older sister that tore her family apart. Still, there is the sweetness of the music from her father’s oud, and the hope and community Afaf finally finds in Islam.

The Beauty of Your Face is a profound and poignant exploration of one woman’s life in a nation at odds with its ideals.

My Review:

Books often open my eyes and make me feel so many emotions that I would hardly experience in real life.The Beauty of Your Face is exactly that. I see and I feel! It is such a brutal but immersive and moving debut that it will for sure going to win over your heart too.

We start the story with our protagonist Afaf, who is a head teacher at a local Muslim school for girls in Chicago America, going about her daily routine when suddenly a white gunman turned up at school. What follow are the alternation between present and past where we get to know more about Afaf and her family. Their lives back home at Palestine and her struggle of being a Muslim living in America.

This is not a long book but in just under 300 pages Mustafah has given us a vivid picture of Afaf’s life and touches upon racism, faith, religion, identity, family, hate and love. It is eye opening and so affecting. I have shed a tear or two at some point too… Mustafah’s writing is just beautiful and full of grace. She effortlessly brings the characters to life and makes you care about them and hope the best for them.

Even though the book has touched upon some very heavy and serious subjects, it also is full of joy and hope. I love Afaf, she is one of the most endearing, brave and full of life characters I have read in a long while. I just want the best for her!

The Beauty of Your Face is truly amazing. One I will definitely recommend and I know you will love it too. Thank you so much Legend Press for this beautiful copy.

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