As-Salaamu-Alaikum I'm Marriam Essa-Sayed, a proudly South African Muslimah. "Foodeva Marsay" is my Lifestyle/Food Blog, with which I "Aspire to Inspire" for the pleasure of my Creator above. A simple to understand blog which entails a fusion of my many passions in life. You will find "Foodeva Marsay" dotted with my inspiring recipes , as well as some of my Travels, Reviews and Photography. I look forward to, and appreciate, any feedback. I can be reached on the contact details provided or via the social media link ups to me. Keep Smiling Marriam Essa-Sayed
Happiness is READING!!! I had my share of Double this Happiness about a month back, when the the lovely Papatia Feauxzar, Author of Bloom, messaged to let me know she was sending me a copy of her latest publication for my reading enjoyment. Three weeks later,’last Saturday’, I received the much anticipated package in Bahrain, all the way from the United States of America. Greedily sitting down to read my Personally Autographed book, I am kind of a,✨Foodeva Marsay Confession Alert✨, ‘sloth reader’?, trying to squeeze in any reading I can between my other daily activities, Bloom was certainly one very interesting read. SHUKRAN/THANK YOU kindly dear Papatia for honouring me with your gift, May Allah reward you Ameen!!!
So here goes my Review for this Book, and like all other times, I would prefer not to give away too much of the story, as I hope to intrigue you enough to hopefully get your hands on these Reads?.
Now no matter how old I get…I am, and will be, a Sucker for a Good Looking Cover on a book. This one stole my Heart the moment I ripped open the package. Bloom is actually 3 separate books, which have also been published before, that has now been complied into one Book, under the “Djarabi Collection” banner.
Mistress of the Spices
This story centres around the Protagonist , Aida Mubarak, a young, African American woman. During a reuniting with her long time friend, Nellie at a coffee shop, the entire story ,slowly, unfolds as Nellie is eager to find out all the details about her friend, Aida’s ‘private affairs’.
The Hazardous Life of Nilüfer
Protagonist Nilüfer Teecher finds herself in many situations. Her Marriage to 1st Husband Jameel Saree, has many twist and turns, with her willing to do anything for him. It is during her Life’s Jouney, that Nilüfer meets with Nasir and lastly her psychiatrist, Raj Patel.
This story bounces back to the 1st protagonist we met earlier, Aida Mubarak. Apart from being the Mistress of Spice, Aïda is now also a Mistress of Tricks. The story unfolds with her trying to keep a huge secret from her Husband Mussa.
Finally a Muslim based story line, to rival any MILLS and BOONS or 50 Shades of…? The Author clearly states “For A Mature Audience Only”, as these story lines are beyond spicy. It almost leaves very little to the imagination during the many steamy bedroom scenes. What happens behind closed doors, between a man and wife, is one of the many taboo topics that many Muslim women would not dwell into. We do fail to realise that these are the very essence of how well a marriage is carried forward. This May Not appeal to many Muslims, But I would urge my readers to give it a read, and if you are uncomfortable with reading those “spicy bits”, you can easily move past those scenes.
With that having been said, There are a lot of other taboo topics that is brought into the stories, Like Polygamy/Polygyny, family, inter-racial marriages, abuse, Divorce and much more. Papatia does a great job of adding lots of Islamic references to her books, which would appeal to even Non-Muslim readers alike as she does offer explanations as the story goes on.
I loved how the Author had a Foreword and Ending Notes with a Glossary at the end, making it so much easier to understand the many different languages and words that comes through. Aïda being from West Africa, her native language, as well as bits of arabic that surfaces during the interactions between the characters is nicely added into the glossary. At times it felt like the author was speaking directly to you, even if via her characters. Having the female protagonist lead these story lines, it was refreshing. Mussa and Jameel were almost unbearable, villains at times, while Raj Patel was totally opposite to both of them. Having all three stories in one compilation made for much easier follow with each story.
My ENDING NOTES
So apart from the ‘Spicy Scenes’, this compilation is a winner. It definitely lives up-to it’s title, Bloom. Be prepared to BLOOM….be it in your marriage, or by re-kindling the romance in the bedroom, or with other members of your family and friends, Bloom into a Human being that you would be proud of, and Seek to BLOOM within your religion, Be it Islam or whichever you follow, BLOOM in the Eyes of YOUR CREATOR.
I loved this one particular Thought from the book by Aïda.
” Women! Always hating each other for some nonsense, instead of supporting each other or Blooming next to each other”
Foodeva Marsay rating
I pray that Allah/GOD guides, NOT JUST ME but US ALL, to be a Better person, and Help us BLOOM in all aspects of our life, Ameen. Life is Short, Like Papatia states in the onset of the novel…
“We need to bloom next to each other…There is No Need for Competition or Jealousy”.
HAPPY READING FRIENDS…. HOUB SALAAM(Peace and Love) (MY new Fav Greeting now, thanks Papatia)
You can Connect with Papatia Feauxzar on any of the following links below.