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The beauty of your face : a novel
2020
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Enduring the harrowing minutes of a shooting attack on her school by a radicalized assailant, a school principal and daughter of Palestinian immigrants experiences flashbacks about the bigotry she faced as a child and the disappearance of an older sister. - (Baker & Taylor)

"A Palestinian American woman wrestles with faith, loss, and identity before coming face- to- face with a school shooter in this searing debut. A uniquely American story told in powerful, evocative prose, The Beauty of Your Face navigates a country growing ever more divided. Afaf Rahman, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is the principal of Nurrideen School for Girls, a Muslim school in the Chicago suburbs. One morning, a shooter- radicalized by the online alt- right- attacks the school. As Afaf listens to his terrifying progress, we are swept back through her memories: the bigotry she faced as a child, her mother's dreams of returning to Palestine, and the devastating disappearance of her older sister that tore her family apart. Still, there is the sweetness of the music from her father's oud, and the hope and community Afaf finally finds in Islam. The Beauty of Your Face is a profound and poignant exploration of one woman's life in a nation at odds with its ideals"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

The Beauty of Your FaceAs Afaf listens to his terrifying progress, we are swept back through her memories: the bigotry she faced as a child, her mother’s dreams of returning to Palestine, and the devastating disappearance of her older sister that tore her family apart. Still, there is the sweetness of the music from her father’s oud, and the hope and community Afaf finally finds in Islam.The Beauty of Your Face - (WW Norton)

Marie ClaireBustleReal SimpleLiterary Hub - (WW Norton)

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Booklist Reviews

Afaf Rahman, the principal of suburban Chicago's Nurrideen School for Girls, takes a few minutes alone for prayers, until gunshots shatter her peace. Palestinian American Mustafah's first novel opens with the terror of a school shooter and concludes with Afaf's eventual return to her office, forever altered yet resiliently unbroken by the horrors she survives. In between, Mustafah interweaves major milestones in Afaf's life through four decades, as a 10-year-old in 1976 whose family implodes when her sister disappears, her transformation in 1985 from a troubled promiscuous teen to a devout Muslim, her 1993 decision to wear the hijab, the cleaving of her family, and the threat of being Muslim American after 9/11. Afaf perseveres despite her alcoholic father, damaged mother, and abusive peers until her adult faith inspires her to find inner strength and forgiving acceptance. While Mustafah writes impressively and convincingly of her Palestinian American immigrant community, she falters when revealing the shooter's narrative, which veers too close to predictability. Her achievements nevertheless outweigh minor missteps, making her an adept author well worth reading. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Booklist Reviews

Afaf Rahman, the principal of suburban Chicago's Nurrideen School for Girls, takes a few minutes alone for prayers, until gunshots shatter her peace. Palestinian American Mustafah's first novel opens with the terror of a school shooter and concludes with Afaf's eventual return to her office, forever altered yet resiliently unbroken by the horrors she survives. In between, Mustafah interweaves major milestones in Afaf's life through four decades, as a 10-year-old in 1976 whose family implodes when her sister disappears, her transformation in 1985 from a troubled promiscuous teen to a devout Muslim, her 1993 decision to wear the hijab, the cleaving of her family, and the threat of being Muslim American after 9/11. Afaf perseveres despite her alcoholic father, damaged mother, and abusive peers until her adult faith inspires her to find inner strength and forgiving acceptance. While Mustafah writes impressively and convincingly of her Palestinian American immigrant community, she falters when revealing the shooter's narrative, which veers too close to predictability. Her achievements nevertheless outweigh minor missteps, making her an adept author well worth reading. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

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