Friday 16 August 2019

#BlogTour Take it Back by Kia Abdullah

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Take it Back by Kia Abdullah. It's a legal thriller with the precision of a crime, the darkness of a psychological thriller and has the power of women's empowerment at its best.
About the Author
Kia Abdullah is an author, journalist and travel writer. She has contributed to The Guardian, BBC, and Channel 4 News, and most recently the New York Times commenting on a variety of issues affecting the Muslim community. Kia currently travels the world as one half of the travel blog, which receives over 200,000 views per month.

Follow @KiaAbdullah on Twitter, Visit
Buy Take it Back
About the book
Zara Kaleel, one of London's brightest young legal minds, shattered the expectations placed on he by her family and forged a glittering career at the Bar. All before hanging up her barrister's wig to help the victims who needed her most. Victims like Jodie Wolfe.

Jodie's own best friend doesn't even believe her claims that their classmates carried out such a crime. But Zara does. And Zara is determined to fight for her.

Jodie and Zara becomes the centre of the most explosive criminal trial of the year, in which ugly divisions within British society are exposed. As everything around Zara begins to unravel she becomes even more determined to get Jodie the justice she's looking for. But t what price?

This is definitely going on my list of favourite reads of this year. It is an extremely powerful story. The author doesn't pull any punches and when she does take a shot those punches are delivered with such an intensity, power and honesty that it leaves a mark.

It's controversial and the subject matter is more so, but perhaps the controversy lies in the realism. The author speaks from the heart, the mind and from her own personal experiences as a Muslim and as a woman and merges all those elements into her main character, Zara.

Zara has broken free of many restraints of her culture and religion, however it has come at a price. There is a moment in the book when her father says something terrible to her. A sentence that changes the way she defines herself in her family, as a person and as a professional, which haunts her going forward. It's simply indefensible and it can't be justified in any way shape or form.

When a young white girl with terrible facial deformities comes to Zara for support after being sexually assaulted by four Muslim boys, she is determined to get Jodie the justice she deserves. She isn't prepared for the backlash against all of them. The racial Molotov cocktail it becomes and the target it paints on her back is lit by the fury of the sanctimonious and thrown by hypocrites.

The author makes some really poignant points about rape. The why and the imbalance when it comes to the treatment of victim and perpetrator, and what role the choice of victim plays in the rape. In this case the shadow of doubt that hovers over the case just because Jodie is deemed ugly, ergo not worthy of raping.

What Abdullah portrays with a frightening accuracy is the patriarchal society we live in, and the role the parochial attitudes play within the male dominated structures. The subordination of women is expected and any deviance is met with harsh repercussions for said women and girls.

Regardless of empty words about women being revered in certain cultures, and especially in specific religious groups, the reality is completely different. Honour killings, kidnappings, forced 'arranged' marriages and the domination of female gender by males of all ages. The author makes a really important point about the role of other women in this systemic domination and oppression. The majority of them take part in the oppression, because it is easier and safer to do so, but also because they have somehow convinced themselves that winning smaller battles is a victory in itself, even if it is at the expense of their daughters, sisters and fellow women in general.

It's a legal thriller with the precision of a crime, the darkness of a psychological thriller and has the power of women's empowerment at its best. This is an explosive must read as far as I am concerned.

Buy Take it Back at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 8 Aug. 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Waterstones.

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