BIRD SUMMONS is the story of three Arab women on a quest in the Scottish Highlands and how their experience challenges and reveals them layer by layer. It is engaging and funny and rich in narrative suspense
A wonderful book. I loved the beauty of its language and the subtle interweaving of myth with the spiritual and physical journeys of the women. I found it fascinating, powerful and profound
BIRD SUMMONS is a magic carpet ride into the forest of history and the lives of women. Deep and wild
Aboulela's prose is restrained but warm. There is a calm amusement in her tone when the women mock the overly conservative men in their lives . . .For western readers, Aboulela offers rare and precious insight into the minds of women who believe that husbands should be obeyed - Moni's dogged devotion to the care of her disabled son, which is tenderly described early in the novel, is viewed by her friends as a betrayal of her marriage vows
She's so good with women's interiority, and Muslim women's subjectivity ... she gets beyond any cliché or type of the Muslim women
Aboulela is doing much the same thing as Jane Austen did when she brought her heroines to the point of examining their feelings honestly and so realising who they should marry and on what terms. Aboulela does this very well, and always (which is just as important) interestingly ... a very good novel
BIRD SUMMONS is a heady blend of social realism, magic, Middle Eastern folktale and Celtic myth. Above all it is the story of three women on a journey not only to the Highlands but also into themselves, as they confront their hopes, fears and deepest secrets. Leila Aboulela's is a unique and refreshing voice in contemporary Scottish fiction
An intensely felt novel about an extraordinary journey that peels open one unexpected world after another
BIRD SUMMONS is a Scottish-Arabic Canterbury Tales, a quest full of stories and surprises: a challenging storyteller's tour de force, uniting two radically different cultures with a handshake and a kiss.
Tender, but unsentimental . . . rooted in everyday experience without forsaking the spiritual, told in effortlessly enjoyable style'
Leila Aboulela is a constant inspiration to me. Her acute observations, magical realism and fine, flowing prose about women and worlds I know well but had never seen drawn in all their vivid complexity on the page before, are what make me return to her work again and again.