Courting Samira: A Novel (Paperback)

Courting Samira: A Novel By Amal Awad Cover Image

Courting Samira: A Novel (Paperback)

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Set in Sydney, Australia, Courting Samira is a charming, big-hearted rom-com about a twenty-seven-year-old Palestinian woman who finds herself in an unexpected love triangle—a sparkling ode to meddling best friends, traditional courtship, The Princess Bride, and, of course, the possibility of love.

“Come for the drool-worthy mentions of kanafeh and baklava; stay for the wit and relatable family politics. A must-read for anyone looking for a romantic comedy that’s heavy on the comedy, with a heavy sprinkling of sweet, clean romance.” —Sara Sharaf Beg, author of Salaam, With Love

“A wry, endearing Bridget Jones set in Sydney’s Muslim community. —BookPage

Coming from a moderately traditional Muslim family, twenty-seven-year-old Samira Abdel-Aziz has endured her fair share of arranged matches—first dates she calls “doorknock appeals,” where she and her possible suitors eat snacks in her living room in the company of both sets of parents. Her general rule: no shoes with tassels, no cheesy leather jackets, no mustaches. A girl has to have some standards, right? The truth is, Samira is already experiencing enough wedding drama as an assistant at Bridal Bazaar magazine and as a gofer for her soon-to-be-married cousin and nemesis Zahra. She’s not sure she needs to add any of her own.

When she meets the charismatic Menem at a work retreat, Samira finds herself intrigued. But her best friend Lara insists Menem isn’t right for her, and now her childhood friend Hakeem has begun behaving oddly. Adding to the confusion, Samira is seeking a promotion at work, yet isn’t sure it’s the job of her dreams. Suddenly, her life is full of drama and complications, and she realizes that part of growing up is making difficult choices about what—and whom—she really wants.

Amal Awad is a journalist, author, and screenwriter. She has written for Elle, The Guardian, and other publications and held senior editorial roles at a number of trade media publications. She has spoken at schools, universities, and writers’ festivals around Australia, and she facilitates workshops on diversity, multiculturalism, women’s issues, and pop culture. Amal is the author of eight books, including four novels—Courting Samira, This is How You Get Better, The Things We See in the Light, and Bitter & Sweet—and the nonfiction books The Incidental Muslim, Beyond Veiled Clichés, Fridays With My Folks, and In My Past Life I was Cleopatra. Courting Samira is the first of her books to be published in America.

“Awad brings a great deal of nuance, specificity, and heart to her depiction of Muslim culture. . . . Readers will have no trouble rooting for Samira to find true love.” — Publishers Weekly

“Awad's charming, funny novel . . . is rich with details of Muslim culture (religious practices as well as familial "Arab guilt") and references to Austen and The Princess Bride. Readers will root for Samira as she tackles workplace drama, friendship issues, and romantic angst.” — Booklist

"A much-needed romantic comedy . . . Awad enchants in this fun, romantic ride.” — Shondaland

“Samira is witty and funny, sensitive and sweet, a lover of movies and books. Her chatty narration makes her pleasant to spend time with, and she’s refreshingly secure in her relationship to her family and culture. . . . A winning heroine.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Absolutely hilarious! Bridget Jones meets Jane Austen in Sydney's Muslim community.” — Anita Heiss, author of Manhattan Dreaming

“Come for the drool-worthy mentions of kanafeh and baklava; stay for the wit and relatable family politics. A must read for anyone looking for a romantic comedy that’s heavy on the comedy, with a heavy sprinkling of sweet, clean romance.” — Sara Sharaf Beg, author of Salaam, With Love

“A fun read, with lots of heart.” — K. J. Charles, author of The Secret Lives of Country Gentleman

“I wanted to stay in Samira's universe forever, with the charming Menem, the brooding Hakeem, and even mean girl Zahra. I especially wanted to linger with Samira, whose sassy, brave, and richly cultured perspective makes her a heroine for a new generation. What a fun, flirty, and deeply heartfelt novel!”  — Susan Muaddi Darraj, American Book Award winning author of Behind You Is the Sea, A Curious Land, and the Farah Rocks series

“Funny, relatable, and warm, Courting Samira has an endearing cast of characters.” — Anna Daniels, author of Girl In Between

“A big-hearted rom-com set in the suburbs of Sydney and colorfully populated with a sprawling, fun-loving, often eccentric Arab community who are fond of lively music, banquet-style feasts, and strict rules about the mingling of their unmarried sons and daughters.” — Shelf Awareness

“A charming, relatable story about growing up and trying to figure out what you want.” — The Skimm

“A wry, endearing Bridget Jones set in Sydney’s Muslim community. . . . Awad warmly displays the formal propriety of Arab Muslim courtship while still highlighting the humor of it all, along with an amused appreciation of its parallels to the Regency world of Jane Austen.” — BookPage