My Accidental Jihad

My Accidental JihadMy Accidental Jihad by Krista Bremer
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 3.5 stars. I truly enjoyed the first 3/4 of this book; it was the last 1/4 that went a little south for me. Krista Bremer shares her life with us, exposing what it’s like to be an American woman married to an older Libyan-born Muslim man. It began as a memoir in which she gives us a glimpse of who she is and what she stands for, and then we gradually become familiar with her husband Ismail. I have to give Bremer credit for the candid way she reveals some very personal aspects of her life with Ismail. She’s also very descriptive in the way she enlightens us about her own religious beliefs, which I have to admit I found a little disturbing. Her irreverent and flippant descriptions of God made me cringe at times. She appears very gullible and quick to adopt whatever traditional views pervade our society without having any real foundation of her own. This perceived personality trait helped me to understand (possibly) her initial attraction and subsequent marriage to her husband. He may have represented something unfamiliar and mystical. However, as we read on we can see how this fascination leads to revelations that are at times very difficult for her to relate to and comprehend. She takes us through her visit to Libya and the appalling conditions that shocked and saddened her. We also see the conflicts and struggles between her and Ismail because of cultural differences; but not enough so. This is where the book began to lessen in strength to me. I started to feel as though we weren’t getting the full story of their lives together. This was a memoir after all, but it got a little disjointed and I felt as though there were parts of their lives that were excluded. When I read Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody, a true story of an American Woman who married a Muslim man who held her and their young daughter captive in Iran, I got to know all of the characters so fully that when it was over they stayed with me for a very long time. When I finished reading My Accidental Jihad It felt wanting, like I didn’t get the full accounting of their lives together. I really didn’t get to know enough about Ismail and their family in general. Nevertheless, the writing started out very strong and it held my interest nearly to the end. I applaud the author for revealing what we were privileged to learn about her family. I liked it and feel confident recommending it to others. I received an Advance Reading Copy of this book from LibraryThing in exchange for a fair and honest review, which I have given. Thank you LibraryThing and Algonquin Books.

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