'The Butterfly Mosque' Book Review




Recently I have picked up my old favorite habit of reading again, I used to read everyday while I was studying Islam, but have become quite busy after having my daughter. Now that my daughter is almost two, things are settling down and I am beginning to have a little more time for myself. When I say little, I mean LITTLE.

So I was out at our local library and picked up two books that seemed of interest to me. The first one was 'The butterfly Mosque' written by G.Willow Wilson. The second was a biography of Muhammad(pbuh), written by Yahiya Emerick in a book series called 'Critical Lives'.

Today I will be focusing on 'The butterfly Mosque'. The author Willow Wilson is a convert to Islam and this book is a memoir of her journey to Islam and to love. The author was born in New Jersey in 1982 and raised in Colorado. Now spending most of her time between Cairo and Seattle. She also authored a graphic novel,'Cairo'. Below are a few excerpts of what some famous Islamic writers had to say about her book.

"A gorgeously written memoir about what it means to be human in
fractured world, told with warmth and a wit to spare. It will
stay with you for years." -Reza Aslan


"An honest and uplifting memoir...that embraces-not demonizes-
both Muslims and the west as critical foundations for Wilsons
spiritual Journey." -Wahajat Ali


This is the summary of her book, just to put it in a nutshell.

"The extraordinary story of a young North American's conversion to Islam and her ensuing romance with an Egyptian man, The Butterfly Mosque is a stunning articulation of a Westerner embracing the Muslim world

After graduating from university, Willow Wilson, a young American — and newly converted Muslim — impulsively accepts a teaching position in Cairo. There, she meets Omar, a passionate young nationalist with a degree in astrophysics. Omar introduces Willow to the bustling city, and through him she discovers a young, moderate nationalist movement, a movement that both wants to divest itself of western influence and regain cultural pride. When the two find themselves unexpectedly in love, despite their deep cultural differences, they decide that they will try to forge a third culture, a new landscape that will embrace some of each of their cultures, and give their fledgling romance some hope of survival.

Wilson weaves this engaging personal story with deep insights into faith in a fractured world, and gives westerners rare insight into an important young reform movement. Butterfly Mosque is an inspiring account of an unlikely cross-cultural love, and the moving story of two young people working within the boundaries of contemporary religion and culture to forge a life together against the odds."

I really enjoyed reading this book. Although the book got off to a slow start, that quickly changed a few chapters in. I really enjoyed the insights the author gave into her personal life. Her writing catches the trials of an American Muslim after 9/11, but I really think this book could help others to understand why people do convert and some of the things that they go through in their everyday life. In the book the main focus is all about Willow embracing Islam, life and love in Egypt, meanwhile trying to keep her American Identity. In the end she finds something that works for her.
I think one of the reasons I enjoy this story is because being a convert myself I can relate to the things she is going through and I can understand her feelings and attitudes towards some of the things mentioned in the book. I think even for born-muslims, they can get a sense of what it might be like to be a convert, and how the experiences can be quite different.
This story is also about Willow finding love in Egypt and marrying into a middle-class Egyptian family. She explores what it's like marrying into another culture and the trials, surprises, and joys that can come with it. In my opinion you can really feel the connection they have as a couple but also their differences make for a really unique love story. Overall I really enjoyed the experience of this book, but I wish Willow would have went a little deeper with her reasons for converting, because most of the story was after the conversion happened. In my opinion: Recommended Read!

To Purchase this book simply click the link below:

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