My Accidental Jihad

My Accidental Jihad

A Love Story

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
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"A story about love, marriage, compromise, parenthood and the difference between the life one imagined and reality."*

Fifteen years ago, Krista Bremer, a California-bred feminist, surfer, and aspiring journalist, met Ismail Suayah, sincere, passionate, kind, yet from a very different world. One of eight siblings born in an impoverished fishing village in Libya, Ismail was raised a Muslim--and his faith informed his life. When Krista and Ismail made the decision to become a family, she embarked on a journey she never could have imagined, an accidental jihad: a quest for spiritual and intellectual growth that would open her mind and, more important, her heart.

"A bold piece of writing (and thinking) by an incredibly brave woman." --Elizabeth Gilbert, author of The Signature of All Things

"A moving, lyrical memoir."-- Kirkus Reviews

"Candid and rich." -- Good Housekeeping

"Unrelenting candor and gorgeous prose." -- BookPage

"Krista Bremer has a very good story." -- The New York Times Book Review

"A beautiful account of [Krista's] jihad, or struggle, to find peace within herself and within her marriage." -- The Kansas City Star

"Lucid, heartfelt, and profoundly humane . . . Navigates the boundaries of religion and politics to arrive at the universal experience of love." --G. Willow Wilson, author of Alif the Unseen

"This is a memoir worth reading." --* Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, c2014
ISBN: 9781616200688
Branch Call Number: 921 BRE
Characteristics: 287 p. ;,22 cm

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Jodi George Lopez
Dec 22, 2016

I felt like I was reading my own life..so close it resembled my new marriage to my tunisian husband..Very fast to read.Didnt want to put it down..Nicely written..

ehbooklover Jul 29, 2014

I chose to read this examination of an intercultural marriage when I saw the glowing review from Cheryl Strayed on the cover (Her book, “Wild”, is one of my favourite biographies). Unfortunately, it was just OK. While parts were interesting, there were many times the author was so long-winded that I found myself quickly flipping ahead so I could try to figure out how many more pages there were until I finally finished the book. That’s never a good sign.

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CecileSune
May 21, 2014

Krista Bremer, a South California girl who loves surfing, has just moved to North Carolina to study journalism when she meets Ismail Suayah, a Libyan older man from a poor, illiterate Muslim family. Soon they become a couple, but an unplanned pregnancy early in their relationship forces them to make choices. They decide to keep the baby and get married. My Accidental Jihad chronicles the challenges and rewards of a bi-cultural marriage.

I thought the title of the book was particularly well chosen: “accidental” refers to the unplanned pregnancy, and “jihad” means “effort” or “struggle” in Arabic, which conveys the difficulties of keeping a marriage alive. Krista Bremer is honest about her feelings, and is not afraid of asking questions. In addition, her descriptions are filled with beautiful imagery, and I thought her trip to Libya was really interesting because it opens the reader’s eyes to a different way of living. However, I would have liked to know what was the reaction of Krista’s family, especially her parents, when she told them she was going out with a Libyan. Did their perception of him change after 9/11? There must have been some prejudice about Muslims. I also thought that some parts of the book were a bit slow. In the end though, the book is a lesson in tolerance and acceptance, and it shows that Islam is all about surrender, that we need to accept that some aspects of our lives are out of our control.

Please go to my blog, Cecile Sune - Bookobsessed, if you would like to read more reviews or discover fun facts about books and authors.

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