Books by Muslim Authors, Fiction Books, Middle Grade Books, Muslim Shelf Space

When Wings Expand by Mehdad Maryam Sinclair – Book Review

Thank you to publishers Kube Publishing for sending me a copy of this book. This does not affect my review.

when wings expand

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Writing on the pages of her journal, Nur, a teenage girl in Canada, charts the onset and advance of her mother’s cancer. Nur watches her mother’s body begin to shrink and her mood begin to darken. And when family and friends begin to encroach, Nur must face the prospect of her mother’s looming death.
Nur bears the crushing loss and finds her adolescent life more demanding and complex. But with the legacy of her mother’s love, her family’s support, and the guidance of her faith, she manages to overcome the searing pain and use her newfound strength to bring joy to the lives of others, showing them that after death wings can expand.

This story is set in Canada and follows the life of a young girl, Nur and her family who are struggling to come to terms with losing her mother to cancer. It’s written in short diary entries, written by Nur, and because of this we really get to see how she is truly feeling. We go through all her stages of grief and struggle and eventual hope at being able to continue her life without her mother in such a personal way.

She also writes about her struggles between her identity as a Muslim and balancing it with living in the west and being a teenager. The Islamic references in this are so wonderfully woven in and do not feel preachy at all. I really loved the Muslim rep in this book!

This story had me teary all the way through so I would warn you to keep a box of tissues handy! As I’m writing this I’m trying to express how much I loved this book. It’s a book that is not only a wonderful story but also something that teenagers can read and relate to and even help deal with their own struggles especially dealing with loss of a loved one. This is a book I wish I had when I was younger especially having lost my granddad as a teenager, I really struggled with it.

I really loved how the author showed a realistic view of how someone suffering from grief can be, how Nur would struggle with accepting what had happened even though she had faith in God. At the end when she meets a young girl with cancer who is finding it difficult to come to terms with it, I love how Nur helps her. It was a wonderful way of showing how to help someone who is going through a difficult time. Honestly I loved this book so much!

I loved the way she used a caterpillar turning into a butterfly as a metaphor for how life changes and even though we may want it to stand still we could continue on to something even more beautiful than what we had, if we only had faith.

I was putting off reading it as I knew it would be a book that would make me cry but I am so glad I read it. It is heart breaking at times but also so heart warming. It’s such a well written book and I am really looking forward to reading more books by this author.

So as you can tell I loved this book and definitely recommend you all to read it, it’s a book that no matter the age you will be able to relate to but I would especially recommend teens/young adults to pick it up!

Rating: 4.5/5

2 thoughts on “When Wings Expand by Mehdad Maryam Sinclair – Book Review”

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