The Jewel of Medina

The Jewel of Medina

A Novel

Book - 2008
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A'isha bint Abi Bakr is the daughter of a rich merchant from Mecca in the harsh, exotic world of seventh-century Arabia at the time of the foundation of Islam. When she is married to the Prophet Muhammad at the age of nine, she must rely on her wits, her courage, and even her sword in a struggle to control her own destiny and carve out a place for herself in the community, fighting religious persecution, jealous sister-wives, political rivals, and her own temptations. As she grows to love her kind, generous husband, her ingenuity and devotion make her an indispensable advisor to Muhammad. Ultimately, she becomes one of the most important women in Islam, and a fierce protector of her husband's words and legacy.Extensively researched, The Jewel of Medina evokes the beauty and harsh realities of life in an age long past. At once a love story, a history lesson, and a coming-of-age tale, it introduces readers to the turmoil that surrounded the birth of the Islamic faith through the eyes of an unforgettable heroine.
Publisher: New York : Beaufort Books, c2008.
ISBN: 9780825305184
Branch Call Number: FICTION JON


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Dec 18, 2008

When A'isha is nine and Islam in its infancy, she marries the prophet Muhammad and would go on to become one of the great women in Islamic history. Despite her youth, A'isha finds herself the favored wife, advising and supporting her husband, while simultaneously doing her own maturing, discovering her own strengths and combating her weaknesses.

Although it was interesting to see how the author chose to pin a personality onto such a huge historic figure, I didn't feel the reader was given enough meaningful glimpses into Muhammad and A'isha's relationship to understand why she was so favored. A'isha's actions and thought processes seem at some times to be beyond her years, and at others very typically reflecting her tender age. I enjoyed the opportunity to read about a culture and time period I was fairly unfamiliar with, and it would be interesting to read other historical fiction from the same era.

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