BIRD SUMMONS is a magic carpet ride into the forest of history and the lives of women. Deep and wild' Lucy Ellmann, Booker-longlisted author of Ducks, NewburyportSalma, happily married, tries every day to fit into life in Britain. When her first love contacts her, she is tempted to risk it all and return to Egypt. Moni gave up a career in banking to care for her disabled son, but now her husband wants to move to Saudi Arabia - where she fears her son's condition will worsen. Iman feels burdened by her beauty. In her twenties and already in her third marriage, she is treated like a pet and longs for freedom. On a road trip to the Scottish Highlands, the women are visited by the Hoopoe, a sacred bird whose fables from Muslim and Celtic literature compel them to question the balance between faith and femininity, love, loyalty and sacrifice. Brilliantly imagined, intense and haunting, Bird Summons confirms Leila Aboulela's reputation as one of our finest contemporary writers. von Aboulela, Leila
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