The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters – Nadiya Hussain

The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters tells the story of Fatima, Farah, Bubblee and Mae. All of the sisters assume the others are happy, but each of them is facing their own problems. Fatima has always felt that she doesn’t fit in; Farah is desperate to be a mother; Bubblee is trying to break away from family tradition and make it as an artist in London; and Mae is navigating social media stardom with a following of 11,000 subscribers on YouTube. When tragedy hits the family, the sisters have to pull together to get through, and they find out a lot about each other – and themselves – at the same time.

I really liked Nadiya Hussain on the Great British Bake Off, but I honestly didn’t know what to expect from this book. When I saw that Ayisha Malik acted as a consultant, I knew I had to read it, as I loved her novel Sofia Khan is Not Obliged. I’m so glad I gave it a try, as I really enjoyed it. The story is told from the viewpoints of all four sisters, swapping between them chapter-by-chapter. Their narratives weren’t really distinct enough to be distinguishable without the prompt at the beginning of the chapter, but this didn’t matter much. All of the sisters had positives and negatives, and because the reader is looking either through their eyes, or the eyes of their siblings, it fosters a real familiarity.

This book had such warmth and humour that I can’t wait to revisit the Amir family and get stuck into the sequel, The Fall and Rise of the Amir Sisters.

5 stars out of 5

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