I'm doing this review dewey-Style, with portions of her book review questionnaire
Title and author of book: The Jewel of Medina by Sherry Jones
Fiction or non-fiction? Genre? Adult Historical Fiction
What led you to pick up this book? I'm not sure. I think I saw it on the librarything early reviewer list
Plot summary: A'isha is pledged to be married to the prophet Muhhamad at a very young age. She marries him but can't live with him until she becomes a woman. When she finally lives with Muhammad, she finds that she is treated more like Muhammad's daughter than his wife. A'isha is not the typical woman of her time. She goes from being Muhammad's child bride to his warrior bride. A'isha learns what real love is and struggles to find her place among Muhammad's many wives.
What did you like most about the book? I've read many books that retell the story of women in the Bible, but this book was interesting because even though a lot of the treatment of the women is the same, it is a different religion and different customs.
What did you like least? Muhammad was protrayed very negatively. If I practiced Islam, I'd be outraged. Muhammad is the prophet of Islam, basically the Jesus of Islam. I wouldn't want a book portraying Jesus this negatively.
What did you think of the writing style? It was confusing at times because the author liked to show off her knowledge of Arabic terms.
What did you think of the main character?What is the central character’s biggest problem? A'isha struggles to control herself and find her place in Muhammad's life. I liked how she was a rebel, but wanted to wring her neck every time she acted without thinking, which always messed up her relationship with Muhammad for a while.
What strengths does she have that help her cope? She relies on other people. Muhammad's first wife is often there to console A'isha, and sometimes she goes to her father. Although A'isha is very independent, she knows when to ask others for help too.
Any other particularly interesting characters? Safwan, the man A'isha thought she would marry, is pretty interesting. Although he adds a soap opera like aspect to the story, it is not unwelcome.
What did you think of the ending? I thought the book could have ended earlier. There is a bittersweet ending that is unnecessary. If the book ended only a few chapters earlier, It would have had a fantastic ending.
Do you recommend this book? If you use a rating system, what’s your rating? I do recommend this book, especially for those who like Biblical fiction (like The Red Tent). I'd give this book a B