A Prayer Heeded by Samreen Ahsan

A Prayer Heeded

A Prayer Series II
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A love affair between an atheist and a Muslim takes some bizarre turns in this sequel to A Silent Prayer (2014).

Ahsan’s series continues the tempestuous, and now badly fractured, love affair between millionaire Toronto philanthropist Adam Gibson and the beautiful, enigmatic Rania Ahmed. The events of the previous novel have left Rania bitterly confused about Adam’s honesty and intentions. She’s fled from his life, and in this novel’s opening scenes, he’s bleakly depressed and utterly determined to find her and win her trust again. (“You have no idea what you are getting yourself into,” Rania warned him when their relationship was just beginning.) Once he succeeds in finding her and bringing her back into his life, that warning takes on unexpected resonance. Readers of the previous novel were shown brief glimpses of the traumas that scarred Rania both physically and emotionally; in this new installment, Ahsan gives those traumas an unexpected supernatural element. She’s not just haunted by memories, but by actual spirits and Jinni that only she can see. Although Adam “only believes what he sees,” he finds his beliefs being tested in ways he never imagined. Ahsan continues the vivid, interior narrations that made the earlier novel such an interesting read (“Is she crazy?” Adam wonders. “She definitely needs to see a therapist”), and through that device, readers see the torments of faith that afflict both lovers. The prominence of the fantasy elements gives the love story a sharp turn that will lose some readers but perhaps gain others. However, the change strengthens the author’s prose; she seems far more comfortable with the highly charged events of this novel’s surreal second half than with the restaurants-and-boardrooms milieu of the previous book.

An Arabian Nights–style conclusion to an intriguing cross-cultural love story.

Pub Date: April 21st, 2014
ISBN: 978-1491727164
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: iUniverse
Program: Kirkus Indie
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