Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 352 pages
Audiobook Length: 12 hours
First Published: 2023
When she marries a charming entrepreneur and moves to the North Carolina suburbs, Yara thinks she has finally escaped her ultra-conservative Palestinian upbringing. Yet even her dream job with her dream family doesn’t seem to fulfill Yara. Yet as Yara’s world begins to implode, she realizes that the upbringing that she thought she left behind has lasting consequences for her and her daughters.
Yet again, Etaf Rum stuns with a beautifully written novel about the struggles of a Palestinian-American woman. Yara’s problems are relatable to many modern-day women: the pain of living in a patriarchal society, wanting more but having to do everything at home in her marriage. Yet, Yara’s upbringing adds another layer; being the daughter of immigrants, Yara feels like she should never be ungrateful because she has it so much better than her parents. A complex and heartrending story, Evil Eye is a powerful book for any book club to read.
The acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of A Woman Is No Man returns with a striking exploration of the expectations of Palestinian-American women, the meaning of a fulfilling life, and the ways our unresolved pasts affect our presents.
Raised in a conservative and emotionally volatile Palestinian family in Brooklyn, Yara thought she would finally feel free when she married a charming entrepreneur who took her to the suburbs. She’s gotten to follow her dreams, completing an undergraduate degree in Art and landing a good job at the local college. As a traditional wife, she also raises their two school-aged daughters, takes care of the house, and has dinner ready when her husband gets home. With her family balanced with her professional ambitions, Yara knows that her life is infinitely more rewarding than her own mother’s. So why doesn’t it feel like enough?
After her dream of chaperoning a student trip to Europe evaporates and she responds to a colleague’s racist provocation, Yara is put on probation at work and must attend mandatory counseling to keep her position. Her mother blames a family curse for the trouble she’s facing, and while Yara doesn’t really believe in old superstitions, she still finds herself growing increasingly uneasy with her mother’s warning and the possibility of falling victim to the same mistakes.
Shaken to the core by these indictments of her life, Yara finds her carefully constructed world beginning to implode. To save herself, Yara must reckon with the reality that the difficulties of the childhood she thought she left behind have very real—and damaging—implications not just on her own future but that of her daughters.
About Etaf Rum
Etaf Rum is a college professor and author of the novels A Woman is No Man and Evil Eye. She was born and raised by Palestinian immigrants in Brooklyn, New York. She currently lives in North Carolina with her children. Visit the author’s website →