From bestselling and National Book Award–nominated author Tahereh Mafi comes a stunning novel about love and loneliness, navigating the hyphen of dual identity, and reclaiming your right to joy—even when you’re trapped in the amber of sorrow.
It’s 2003, several months since the US officially declared war on Iraq, and the American political world has evolved. Tensions are high, hate crimes are on the rise, FBI agents are infiltrating local mosques, and the Muslim community is harassed and targeted more than ever. Shadi, who wears hijab, keeps her head down.
She's too busy drowning in her own troubles to find the time to deal with bigots.
Shadi is named for joy, but she’s haunted by sorrow. Her brother is dead, her father is dying, her mother is falling apart, and her best friend has mysteriously dropped out of her life. And then, of course, there’s the small matter of her heart—
Shadi tries to navigate her crumbling world by soldiering through, saying nothing. She devours her own pain, each day retreating farther and farther inside herself until finally, one day, everything changes.
An Emotion of Great Delight is a searing look into the world of a single Muslim family in the wake of 9/11. It’s about a child of immigrants forging a blurry identity, falling in love, and finding hope—in the midst of a modern war.
Expected Publication Date: June 1, 2021
Publisher: Harper Collins
Author: Tahereh Mafi
I want to thank HarperCollins for providing me with an ARC of this book.
Honestly, I didn't even read the synopsis. When I saw it was Mafi, I just requested it because I really do love her writing and thought for sure I would enjoy this one as well.
The book gives a dive into the life of a Muslim teen status post 9/11.
I will say I didn't like the main character. That may have been some of the intention with the book, though. After all, 17 year olds are usually quite self-centered and Shadi came off as exactly that. She made some poor life choices throughout the book. And it's not until the end that she owns up to that, at least somewhat.
I liked how Mafi gave us a look into what Muslims were experiencing status post 9/11. It was also an interesting look into a different culture for me. I will confess to not knowing much about the Muslim religion or about Iranian/Persian family life or culture. I do wish she had expanded on it just a bit. I found the relationship Shadi had with her family more superficial than I would have liked, given her strong emotions about them. A deeper dive would have been welcome.
Overall it was a quick read but not my favorite YA contemporary. It did feel a bit rushed with how short it was.
Tahereh Mafi is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Shatter Me series. She was born in a small city somewhere in Connecticut and currently resides in Santa Monica, California with her husband, fellow author Ransom Riggs. She can usually be found over-caffeinated and stuck in a book. Shatter Me is her first series, with television rights optioned by ABC Signature Studios; Furthermore, her first middle grade novel, is on shelves now, and Whichwood, its darker companion, will be on shelves November 14, 2017.