The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson

ForThe Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman's Journey to Love and Islam by G. Willow Wilson (2010), I would reverse the order of the words love and Islam in the book title because this memoir is really the story of Wilson's journey of self-discovery and immersion in the Muslim world.

After coming from a non-religious family background, Wilson becomes Muslim. She even moves to Cairo to teach in order to experience living in a Muslim country. While in Egypt, she meets and marries Omar, a Sufi Muslim, and becomes a part of his close-knit family. She also learns Arabic, adopts hijab (the headscarf), and makes a visit by herself to Iran.

Despite Wilson's brief slam to Great Plains cities, like mine, that aren't Boulder (Boulder as wonderful?? Seriously??), I'm going to credit her with a decent awareness of her surroundings and the ability to report her personal experience in an interesting, engaging manner. Do I think she's an authority on Islam, conversion, Cairo, Americans views on religion (especially Islam), and so on? No. Does she claim to be? No.

Most of her observations certainly made me think. Her most interesting description of Islam in the book, to me: "antiauthoritarian sex-positive monotheism."

I enjoyed reading about her life, and I'd be interested in an update at some point.

My overall personal rating of The Butterfly Mosque is a B.


sapphireblue said…
I heard about this book on NPR. Will have to check it out.

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