I took this picture last week when I first received Ayesha at Last. Next to the book is my Rocketbook in which I scribble all my endless reading notes. I have arthritis, and the paper in this book is so smooth it makes writing super easy. (no, that isn’t a paid endorsement, I just really love this notebook.) Anyways, on with my review!
My first impression of Ayesha wasn’t that positive, she was hiding out in a bathroom writing a poem instead of being in her classroom, teaching. But the more I got to know her, the more she grew on me. In her Canadian community, she’s practically an old maid because she isn’t married (and the aunties aren’t all that impressed that she works, but at least it’s a “respectable” job, for a woman.) Ayesha doesn’t think she will ever get married, unlike her cousin Hafsa who is getting proposals left and right.
Enter Khalid. He is a devout Muslim and he makes no apologies for how he practices his faith. With a long beard and traditional robe, he is often singled out. His new boss, Sheila, isn’t tolerant of him at all, especially since he advised her his religion prohibited him from shaking her hand. She’s made it clear she wants him out, only she has to do it without getting caught that she’s against all Muslims.
So the characters here were great in what they were meant to be. The more I got to know Khalid, the more I liked him. He sticks by his beliefs and does what he thinks is right. Except for my previous issue with Ayesha, I liked her. She too always tried to do what was right. She is unapologetically outspoken, and I loved it when she stood and spoke up. Hafsa I absolutely hated, she was flighty, selfish, and irresponsible. Jalaluddin wrote her to be unlikable very well.
I loved watching things unfold between Ayesha and Khalid. When Khalid started to open up, the book pace and storyline picked up as well, making it hard to put down. I found myself cheering Khalid on whenever he did anything outside of his norm. The story was told in alternating viewpoints from Khalid to Ayesha, and I think the author did this well. Well-written with entertaining characters, Ayesha at Last was a fun read.