Lyrics Alley by Leila Aboulela

“The Cube is a place where Lebanese book lovers talk about reading and books”

The Cube

Lyrics Alley is the story of a Sudanese family set in the 1950s before and during Sudan independence. Mahmoud Bey, patriarch of the powerful Abuzeid dynasty has two wives: Waheeba, a traditional Sudanese woman and Nabilah, a much younger modern woman from Egypt. Mahmoud has 3 sons: Nassir, Nur (mom: Waheeba), Farouk (mom: Nabilah) and a daughter, Ferial (mom: Nabilah).

At the heart of this family saga is Nur and Soraya‘s (his cousin) love story with passages to Waheeba and Nabilah rivalry; Mahmoud Bey business endeavors; Nassir delinquency; Mahmoud’s brother and business partner, Idris, an archaic father; Ustaz Badr, and his family, a devout Muslim and the children’s arabic teacher.

The first chapters follow the daily life of this family with their problems and concerns until their life shifts when Nur suffers a near-fatal injury. The story becomes a bit slow towards the middle and I didn’t really like the jumps to the chapters describing Ustaz Badr family problems…

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