Bookmarks Book Club

Join us to discuss A Pure Heart by Rajia Hassib. Email jamie@bookmarksnc.org to register.  
Use coupon code 20BOOKCLUB at checkout to receive the book club discount.

About A Pure Heart:

A powerful novel about two Egyptian sisters--their divergent fates and the secrets of one family

Sisters Rose and Gameela Gubran could not have been more different. Rose, an Egyptologist, married an American journalist and immigrated to New York City, where she works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Gameela, a devout Muslim since her teenage years, stayed in Cairo. During the aftermath of Egypt's revolution, Gameela is killed in a suicide bombing. When Rose returns to Egypt after the bombing, she sifts through the artifacts Gameela left behind, desperate to understand how her sister came to die, and who she truly was. 

Soon, Rose realizes that Gameela has left many questions unanswered. Why had she quit her job just a few months before her death and not told her family? Who was she romantically involved with? And how did the religious Gameela manage to keep so many secrets?

Rich in depth and feeling, A Pure Heart is a brilliant portrait of two Muslim women in the twenty-first century and the decisions they make in work and love that determine their destinies. As Rose is struggling to reconcile her identities as an Egyptian and as a new American, she investigates Gameela's devotion to her religion and her country. The more Rose uncovers about her sister's life, the more she must reconcile their two fates, their inextricable bond as sisters, and who should and should not be held responsible for Gameela's death. 

Rajia Hassib's A Pure Heart is a stirring and deeply textured novel that asks what it means to forgive, and considers how faith, family, and love can unite and divide us.

About Rajia Hassib:

Rajia Hassib was born and raised in Egypt and moved to the United States when she was twenty-three. Her first novel, In the Language of Miracles, was a New York Times Editors' Choice and received an honorable mention from the Arab American Book Awards. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Marshall University, and she has written for The New York Times Book Review and The New Yorker online. She lives in West Virginia with her husband and two children.

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Event date: 
Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - 6:30pm
Event address: 
A Pure Heart: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525560074
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - August 4th, 2020

"Exquisite. . . . Anchoring the story is a pair of Cairo-born sisters whose fates spin in radically different directions in the wake of the Egyptian revolution. . . . A lovely novel that does a remarkable job of bringing troubling realities to light, and life."
--Vanity Fair


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