From the darkest hour of American history emerges a mesmerizing tale of tender love, a life interrupted, and faith recovered. Arissa Illahi, a Muslim artist and writer, discovers in a single moment that no matter how carefully you map your life, it is life itself that chooses your destiny.
After her husband’s death in the collapse of the World Trade Center, the discovery of his manuscript marks Arissa’s reconnection to life. Her unborn son and the unfinished novel fuse in her mind into one life-defining project that becomes, at once, the struggle for her emotional survival and the redemption of her race.
Saffron Dreams is a novel about our ever evolving identities and the events and places that shape them. It reminds us that in the midst of tragedy, our dreams can become a lasting legacy.
I had a hard time putting this book down. Shaila Abdullah’s “Saffron Dreams” is a book that will tug at your heartstrings and won’t let go. Arissa Illahi marries the man of her dreams, a man she meets by chance and then meets again years later through a matchmaker, an age old tradition she despises but this time the matchmaker really did get it right. Truly a marriage that was meant to be.
She has everything she could ask for: a strong marriage, the freedom to pursue her career without worrying about financial issues, and a child on the way. Her husband’s dream of being a successful writer is still in the works so for the meantime he works in the World Trade Center. And, on the morning of 9/11 she watches in horror as the planes strike not once but twice, changing her world and shaking her to her core.
She has so many decisions to make but the hardest part is going to be raising her child without a father. She struggles with her feelings and even contemplates ending her life to try and end the pain that she feels. But, she becomes a wonderful parent of a child that has some disabilities that require his dependance on his mother. She also discovers a manuscript her husband had written and uses its contents to shape the life she intends to lead.
This is one of the most poignant books that I have read. I think all Americans can remember where they were when the attack on the World Trade Center occured, but this author sheds a different light on it. The writing is excellent and this book was very hard to put down.
Shaila Abdullah is an award-winning author and designer, based in Austin, Texas. Her creative work focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of Pakistani women and their often unconventional choices in life. Her debut book, Beyond the Cayenne Wall, is a collection of stories about Pakistani women struggling to find their individualities despite the barriers imposed by society.
Among other accolades, the book won the Norumbega Jury Prize for Outstanding Fiction and the DIY Festival Award. Abdullah received a grant from the Hobson Foundation for her new novel, Saffron Dreams which is about the trials and tribulations of a 9/11 Muslim widow.
Abdullah has written several short stories, articles, and personal essays for various publications, such as Dallas Child, Web Guru, About Families, Sulekha, Women’s Own, She, Fashion Collection and a magazine of the Daily Dawn newspaper called Tuesday Review, etc. She is a member of the Texas Writers’ League.
SAFFRON DREAMS VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR ’09 will officially begin on March 2 and end on March 27. You can visit Shaila’s blog stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com in March to find out more about this talented author!
As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors’ blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available.