BOOK REVIEW-THE STORY OF MAHA
THE STORY OF MAHA THE CHILD OF A forbidden marriage, Maha grows up happily with her parents in Cape Town. But her world changes forever when her parents are killed at a political rally, and at the age of eight, Maha is reclaimed by her loving but staid Indian grandparents and taken to live in Durban. Growing up in the claustrophobia of the suburbs – what she dubs ‘Slumurbia’ – Maha reveals a love for the outrageous as she clashes with the conventions of her community. Charged with keeping her in line – but barely managing – is her older cousin Zeenat, whose lessons about life have been learnt the hard way. With Zeenat’s help and a large dose of humour, Maha weaves dexterously around the strict boundaries of Muslim life, as she immerses herself in friendship, fi rst love, a bit of rebellion and a tantalising romance (all between prayers, of course). But as Maha enters her twentieth year, she is faced with the ultimate challenge: to fi nd a husband who will forgo perfectly round rotis and let her attend university… and he’s got to be cute. With refreshing zest, Maha treats us to the joys and sorrows of her passionate (though sometimes quite vulnerable) young heart, and a life in which she’s not quite in charge.
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