The Beauty of Your Face

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Mar 2020

Member Reviews

A powerful debut novel! This book will help put you in the shoes of an immigrant and is an excellent exercise in empathy.
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So many issues currently concerning so many readers are addressed in this wonderful and very relevant story.  This author has much to say about the things we collectively care about and fear in 2020:  school shootings, the dark corners of the Internet, the bitter ideological divisions in our country, and the struggles families face simply to survive are all here, thoughtfully explored with relatable characters and a brisk-paced, suspenseful storyline.

The book begins with what was supposed to be an ordinary day for Afaf Rahman, the principal of a Muslim school for girls in the Chicago suburbs. As she slips away for a private moment to pray, a school shooter breaks in and begins to kill her beloved students, slowly making his way to the closet where she is trapped, defenseless.  From there, we are taken back in time to Afaf's tumultuous early life as the daughter of Palestinian immigrants. Mental illness of a parent, substance abuse in the family, relentless bigotry from the outside world, and the mysterious disappearance of her older sister are challenges that almost destroy Afaf, until she finds peace and a stable life path in Islam. 

This book is beautifully written, and I came away from it with new regard for the power of forgiveness, the possibility for second chances, and a renewed appreciation for the gifts a life of faith holds for its followers. From a librarian's point of view, this is the ideal book to recommend to book clubs and other groups seeking a contemporary title worthy of discussion.
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I have a feeling this will be a big hit when it releases in the spring. I absolutely adored every page of this book. The characters are relatable, well-rounded, and a delight to spend time with. The addition of the school shooting is heartbreaking and unfortunately quite timely. This is an important book and I can't wait to recommend it to everyone I know.
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