Amilah, by Halima Hagi Mohamed, is a collection of short stories and I must say I liked every single one. Each story is very different from the previous, but they are all equally touching. The characters are written in such a way that they become close friends and loved ones, the issued they face are all relate-able and are described in such a way that even the ones that aren’t feel close to home.
Each story new challenges and paints new pictures, but the one recurrent theme is hope and every ending is filled with it. No two stories are alike, the issues talked abut range from domestic violence to exorcism, from sisters uniting to an absentee father. The Somali culture is depicted beautifully, and I loved the use of the native tongue. I did wonder about how non-Somali speaking readers might struggle but then I realised there was a glossary at the end of the book, which makes this book suitable for all English speaking readers.
If I had to choose a favourite story I would choose “Haniya”, it tells the tale of a young girl and her struggle with mental illness, how hard it is to cope with it in the Somali culture and how it affects her family life.
The only complaint I have about this book is that at the end of each story I was left with many questions, but then again these are short stories and of course that is to be expected. I would highly recommend this book and definitely plan to read it again. I will look forward to more work by Halima Hagi Mohamed.
You can get your copy of Amilah in paperback or kindle format over on Amazon.
And you can keep up with the writer on Instagram @halimawrites.