While the story is an erotic tale of Muslim woman escaping her oppressive marriage to find freedom, sexual and otherwise in Tangiers, it reads much more like a political commentary. It reveals what happens when a society is restrictive against our natural sexual urges. Do they disappear? Of course not. They just emerge in other ways, some healthy and some not so healthy, but always in secret.
Overall, a decent read. Not quite erotica, but close enough. The writing did not feel luxurious and lyrical, but rather blunt and jabbing which could possibly be attributed to being translated from French. Something always gets a little lost in translation. also wish I had realized there is a glossary in the back before I finished the book!
Part erotica, part diatribe against misogynistic customs, The Almond is the story of Badra, a young Muslim woman who flees an unsatisfying arranged marriage in her hometown for Tangiers. In this northern Moroccan city she initially lives with her Aunt Selma, who is divorced from her uncle, and ultimately becomes involved with cardiologist-socialite Driss in a long, consuming affair. Although it was Driss who awakens sexual pleasure and love in Badra, she recalls her earlier attempts to understand and experience adult things in her pre-Tangiers existence in long, italicized flashbacks. The story becomes more and more ungrounded in every day life as Badra gets older. It's a bit graphic at times, and I found its dreamy, self-centered prose slightly unsatisfying.
Karen K. (cocoplum) reviewed The Almond: The Sexual Awakening of a Muslim Woman on
Quite a page turner. Uninhibited, sensual,erotic narrative that explores a plethora of abnormal pleasures. This story does not just explore sexual awakening but also touches on some of the discriminative, cultural practices used to mentally shackle and suppress muslim women. A story you would never guess that a muslim woman would tell.