Monday, September 16, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Painted Hands by Jennifer Zobair

Title: Painted Hands
Author: Jennifer Zobair
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Release Date: June 11/2013
Adquired: Print ARC provided by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

Muslim bad girl Zainab Mir has just landed a job working for a post-feminist, Republican Senate candidate. Her best friend Amra Abbas is about to make partner at a top Boston law firm. Together they’ve thwarted proposal-slinging aunties, cultural expectations, and the occasional bigot to succeed in their careers. What they didn’t count on? Unlikely men and geopolitical firestorms.

When a handsome childhood friend reappears, Amra makes choices that Zainab considers so 1950s—choices that involve the perfect Banarasi silk dress and a four-bedroom house in the suburbs. After hiding her long work hours during their courtship, Amra struggles to balance her demanding job and her unexpectedly traditional new husband.

Zainab has her own problems. She generates controversy in the Muslim community with a suggestive magazine spread and friendship with a gay reporter. Her rising profile also inflames neocons like Chase Holland, the talk radio host who attacks her religion publicly but privately falls for her hard. When the political fallout from a terrorist attempt jeopardizes Zainab's job and protests surrounding a woman-led Muslim prayer service lead to violence, Amra and Zainab must decide what they’re willing to risk for their principles, their friendship, and love.

The Namesake meets Sex and the City in this engaging and provocative debut novel about friendship and the love lives of American Muslim women.


I began this book under the pretense that the author was a woman of East Indian descent. I was enormously surprised, and in awe, to find out that she is actually a Caucasian-American woman, who chose to convert to Islam in her later years. I am endlessly fascinated by an individual's decision to convert to any one religion, and will have to get an interview with her up here soon. The synopsis boldly compares Painted Hands to The Namesake, and Sex in the City, which are two of my favourite, no, not books, but TV shows/movies. I was seriously interested to read how the two would be married in this book, and what I found was nothing short of spectacular, and spot on in it's comparison.

Painted Hands was a smart, modern take on age-old religious and political issues. The stigma surrounding Islam, and it's core beliefs, is one that has affected me personally. I was raised in a Catholic home, but the majority of my extended family, and future in-laws, are of Islamic faith-I'm constantly baring witness to ignorant comments, and outrageously horrid assumptions about the religion. Painted Hands approached the lifestyle of Islamic families, and individuals, at an interesting, and refreshing, angle. Jennifer Zobair showcased American-Muslims in a modern voice, with highly successful female leads. I loved every, single, second of the fast pace narrative. I have never experienced anything like it, having grown so accustomed to books like The Kite Runner, The Secret Daughter, or The Space Between Us-all narratives that lean heavily on the more strict aspects of Islam, and all take place in countries like India, and Pakistan.

Amra, Zainab, and Rukan grew up in traditional Muslim families, but are living modern, and career driven lives in New York City. As the story line unfolds, the three women are faced with issues of race, family and religious expectations, and at the core, figuring out who they are as people. Their lives were endlessly entertaining, Jennifer Zobair has a talent for making the small moments count. The chapters were short in length, but packed so much detail, it was damn near impossible to put the book down.

I recommend this book for everyone, of every religion, of every belief. If you're curious about Islam, but feel intimidated by the opinions surrounding it, pick up this book. If you enjoy "chick-lit," this book is definitely up your alley as well. Too often religion creates this barrier that people find impossible to break through, or cross, or are just plain scared to venture past, but this book was beautiful in the way that it wove a religion in with life. Our lives, YOUR life, the life of characters that were INSANELY easy to relate to. I want to thank Jennifer Zobair a million times for this book!

Recommended for Fans of: Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Candace Bushnell, Sophie Kinsella.


Jennifer has quite the extensive, and interesting, bio. Check it out here!.

Contact Links


Thank-you to Trish from TLC Book Tours for hosting this tour, and to Thomas Dunne for sending me a print ARC to review!

CLICK HERE to follow the rest of the tour


  1. WOW!! I'm so thrilled that you liked it so much! I love authors who can get the details to be interesting -- I think that's a rare gift!

    Thanks for being on the tour!

  2. Thank you so much for this kind review! I'm so glad the novel resonated with you! If you ever want to do an interview, just email me. I'd love to chat!

    All my best,

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