Review by Lyndell Williams
KHADIJAH’S LIFE IN MOTION
By Jatasha Sharif
$12.00, pp 320, Paperback
$ 6.99, pp 321, Kindle
Pamela and Tyrone each seek to transform their lives by becoming Muslim. Unfortunately, their pasts do not want to let go.
She could only see an outline of a man coming towards her car because of the lights of the other cars traveling down the highway. As the figure got closer, she realized it was Tyrone. She had slowed down as she was talking to him on the phone, not realizing that she was giving him the chance to catch up enough for him to pull up behind her. She rolled down her window.
“What are you doing,” she asked.
“I’m coming to see my baby. Don’t ever run away from me again you hear me? I will ALWAYS find you,” Tyrone said. He then put his head in the car and softly kissed her forehead. She was speechless.
The book I will be reviewing in this video is Khadijah’s Life in Motion by Jatasha Sharif. Now, this is a romance novel, and there a few love triangles in this romance novel, which makes it very, very exciting. The novel focuses on Pamela. Pamela is a successful, beautiful businesswoman. She has her own spa that is the toast of the town that everyone wants to get into.
She has a significant other, Tyrone. Tyrone is incarcerated. While he is incarcerated, he lets Pamela know that he has become Muslim. This is not something that is uncommon in the American Muslim experience. There are many Muslims who found Islam while they were incarcerated.
So, Tyrone is Muslim now, and he is letting Pamela know that he is Muslim. Pamela then becomes interested in Islam. So, she starts reading about it and thinking about becoming Muslim. She does decide to become Muslim.
However, she doesn’t decide whether or not she wants to stay with Tyrone. It’s not an automatic thing. Because in comes Officer Ibrahim, a dashing Muslim officer, who’s interested in Pamela himself.
So, when Tyrone is released, he realizes that there is a rival for his affection. And, so, the story gets very, very interesting at that point.
Because Pamela is still torn between whether or not she wants to stay with Tyrone, or she whether she is going to become involved with Officer Ibrahim.
Now, Tyrone makes a lot of mistakes when it comes to Pamela. The passage that I read in the beginning kinda indicates that he sees Pamela as his. Okay, and, so when he came out, he just kind of expected that he would go back, and it would be business as usual and he would be with his woman. And, so, when he finds out that is not the case, he becomes…stalkerish as far as I’m concerned. He starts to follow her around and keep tabs on her.
Now, Tyrone is not without his entanglements outside of his relationship with Pamela. Because he does have a side chick, Melanie, Pamela’s friend. They’ve been having some dealings with each other from before Tyrone was incarcerated. And now that he gets out, Melanie figures its business as usual for the two of them.
However, there’s a problem. Tyrone is a practicing Muslim. Sex, outside of marriage, is a no-no in Islam. So, what happens between the two of them, makes its own interesting little sub-plot.
Melanie doesn’t want to let go, despite the fact Tyrone wants her to. Melanie does her best to keep a hold of Tyrone, even by pretending she is interested in becoming Muslim. That’s is not an uncommon theme In a lot of Native-born American Muslim fiction. It’s also not an uncommon theme in the American Muslim experience.
That when you have a relationship between a Muslim man and a non-Muslim woman, often, the Muslim man will make the ultimatum that if the relationship is going to go any further than the woman should become Muslim. And, so, they often investigate Islam.
Some do become Muslim, and some kind of just pretend that they are interested in being Muslim, so they can keep their man—something that Melanie does.
So, how these potential couples decide whether or not they are going to be with one another how they are going to be with one another, is pretty exciting.
What is also engaging about the book is that Sharif addresses issues that new Muslims potentially face. When someone becomes Muslim, their life transforms, and their relationships make transformations as well.
Sharif engages the reader by showing how some of these relationships may change. For example, Khadijah has a really cordially relationship with her mother. They live together. However, that changes when she becomes Muslim because her mother doesn’t like the fact that she becomes Muslim. And, so, their relationship becomes very tense.
Another is the way Khadijah now interacts with Tyrone. It’s not only that she is not interested in Tyrone, It’s that they were living together. And, so, now that has to change very quickly and dramatically because she is a Muslim woman and he is a Muslim man, and she doesn’t want to necessarily fix the situation by marrying him.
Another thing that Sharif addresses is new Muslims as they become involved in the Muslim community. Now, one of the things that I liked about this book is that she not only does it with Khadijah and Khadijah’s new relationships with the Muslim women in the community; she also does it with Tyrone and Tyrone’s new relationships with the Muslim men in the community.
There are a lot of nuances that are involved when a Muslim woman becomes involved in a Muslim community and when a Muslim man becomes involved in a Muslim community. So, she does address that and show some of the things that they may be subject to or some problems that may occur.
This book is really entertaining. It keeps the reader engaged; there’s a lot going on. There are a lot of subplots, by they’re not confusing.
The author does do a lot of telling instead of showing, However, what she does tell, is extremely fascinating. Especially what a new Muslim may undergo as they create their new Islamic life and identity, engage in new relationships, and transform their existing relationships.
Khadijah’s Life in Motion by Jatasha Sharif. So, check it out, and if you want to know more about the work that I do with NbA Muslims, I will attach the link to the website in the description section.
And as soon as I get another minute, I will review another book.