AD – gifted
My Little Ramadan by Abigail Yardimci
Published 23rd March 2023
After marrying Mesut, the man of her dreams, having an adorable little boy and moving to a beautiful Scottish seaside town, Jess knows she should feel more grateful. But motherhood is so tough and the cultural gap between her and her husband is starting to show.
As Mesut prepares for the Islamic month of Ramadan, Jess figures she should support him. She decides to go nil-by-mouth from sunrise to sunset for thirty days, hoping that some spirituality might rub off on her, especially if she records it all on her blog.
When the blog becomes the talk of the town, Mesut objects to his faith being made public. But Jess is certain Ramadan will make her a better person as well as a better mum. With thirty belly-growling days to get through and thirty blog posts to write, could divine intervention be just around the corner? Or will it tear apart everything she loves?
I have followed Abigail on Instagram for a little while, she has also given me some lovely advice as l am writing a book myself which has been so valuable. But I have to admit to being a bit nervous when she asked me to review her new book, it’s not the first time someone I know has asked me to review a book and I suspect it won’t be the last time either, and it’s always that same feeling of trepidation. I haven’t read women’s fiction for a while having lived in the world of fantasy for at least a year, and it was also written in a blog-style format, which is usually a no-no for me. I read a book that was comprised entirely of text messages once and was really frustrated that you never got to see the deep inside feelings you usually enjoy in a book. So I had a few reasons to feel nervous about reading it.
Thankfully, I need not have worried. Abigail’s engaging writing style sucked me in immediately. Yes, it was written in a blog post style, but not once did I ever feel like I wanted to know more or that too much of the story was left out. The story was light and witty, but as a mother of 3, so, so relatable.
This book is in a series, but can very easily be read as a standalone novel (I hadn’t read any of the previous books) and follows the story of young mother Jess, who as the blurb says above says, decides to support her Muslim husband by joining him for Ramadan. But, at the heart of it, this book is about early motherhood and the exhaustion, emotions, love and all the in-between that comes with it. The absolute roller-coaster that is being the mother of a toddler. This quote at the beginning of the book really spoke to me.
“I love Baki as ferociously as I’ve ever loved anything but I think maybe some of that love I had for myself had been absorbed into him. I don’t know.’
Because my goodness I remember that feeling. I suspect most mothers know it, and how it takes a while to come back to yourself after having a child. Abigail writes with real emotional clarity in a way that made my heart ache a little bit as I knew just how the emotions she wrote about felt deep inside. Her writing style had such warmth to it, it was wonderful.
My favourite part of the book was the connections and friendships. I loved the relationship Jess and her husband Mesut shared and learning more about Islamic culture. Abigail herself is married to a Muslim man and while she did mention the book was inspired by her life, I felt myself really wondering just how autobiographical it was, did she really have some of the experiences she wrote about – sharing a flat with a crazy cat lady for instance and other events that I don’t want to share in fear of spoiling the book for you – in real life. Because a part of me really wants to know!
This is a book about different cultures, but also about motherhood and the crazy highs and lows that it encompasses. I also am in awe of anyone that fasts with a young child, especially when you cannot even have a sip of water (I didn’t know that before I read the book). A wonderful book that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Rating: 4/5 stars
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)