Subtitle: A Memoir
By: Sara El Sayed
Genre: BM - Memoirs
Published by: Black Inc
Published: 3 Aug 2021
ISBN: 9781760642464


A hilarious, heartwarming memoir of growing up and becoming yourself in an Egyptian Muslim family.

Soos is coming of age in a household with a lot of rules. No bikinis, despite the Queensland heat. No boys, unless he’s Muslim. And no life insurance, not even when her father gets cancer.

Soos is trying to balance her parents’ strict decrees with having friendships, crushes and the freedom to develop her own values. With each rule Soos comes up against, she is forced to choose between doing what her parents say is right and following her instincts.

When her family falls apart, she comes to see her parents as flawed, their morals based on a muddy logic. But she will also learn that they are her strongest defenders.

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Sara El Sayed has written an autobiographical look at growing up in Queensland in an Egyptian Muslim family.

Her family have so many rules. For example, Rule # 1 - Don’t touch alcohol. Rule # 2 - Good girls do not wear bikinis.

Written in a humorous and heart warming way, the book is interspersed with memories of her family, as well her own journey. Exploring her beliefs and those of her family, both regarding religion and how a person, particularly a girl, should live her life.

Muddy People is a funny and insightful look at growing up, from a wonderful and inspiring female writer, with themes including finding your own way, family, religion, racism, divorce and cultural diversity.

A book that will be loved by those who enjoyed memoirs like Alice Pung’s marvellous Unpolished Gem. This is a terrific book for readers 14 and older.

Reviewed by Rob