Painted Hands/ posted in: Reading Painted Hands: A Novel by Jennifer Zobair
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on June 11th 2013
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)
“Muslim bad girl Zainab Mir has just landed a job working for a post-feminist, Republican Senate candidate. Her best friend Amra Abbas is about to make partner at a top Boston law firm. Together they’ve thwarted proposal-slinging aunties, cultural expectations, and the occasional bigot to succeed in their careers. What they didn’t count on? Unlikely men and geopolitical firestorms.”
Zainab is getting a lot of attention as the very stylish spokeswoman for a candidate known for speaking her mind without checking with her advisors first. This makes her a perfect target for a rising star in conservative talk radio. A Republican’s advisor is Muslim? Chase Holland doesn’t even have to think hard to turn his audience’s outrage on. He doesn’t count on liking Zainab when he meets her though.
Amra works long hours to secure her promised partnership at a law firm. When her family surprises her with a reintroduction to a family friend’s son, she is outraged. However they hit it off. She hides her workaholic tendencies from him and this leads to difficulties as the relationship gets serious.
This book also features Hayden, a white woman who converts to Islam and is convinced that the South Asian Muslim women she knows aren’t following the religion correctly. She is influenced by a very conservative Muslim woman and enters into an arranged marriage with that woman’s son. The author is a convert too so it is interesting to get that perspective.
An attempted terrorist attack brings these women’s carefully balanced lives to the brink of chaos. Zainab is feeling the political pressure of being forced to apologize for something she had nothing to do with. Amra’s conflicted desires for her job and her family lead her to the breaking point. Hayden realizes that she may have been lead astray by those who she has been modeling her new life on.