It’s not often you come across a book that lingers in psych long after you’ve read it, but Hijab and Red Lipstick by Yousra Imran is a book that does just that.
“You cannot do anything in this country without my permission.” Being a teenager isn’t easy. And it doesn’t help when you have a mega strict Egyptian dad who tells you that everything is “haram” a.k.a. forbidden. All Sara wants to do is experiment with makeup and read fashion magazines, but her dad’s conservative interpretation of Islam makes it impossible. Things get even harder when her dad lands himself a job in the Arabian Gulf and moves Sara and her family to a country where the patriarchy rules supreme. In a country where you have to have your father’s permission for everything, every door feels like it is being closed on Sara’s future. Can Sara find her voice again? Will she ever be free?”
Hijab and Red Lipstick is the debut novel from Yousra Imran and it’s a powerful read, that will resonate and make the reader think. It’s a book that changes you once you’ve read it.
Yousra is a writer we definitely are extremely excited to read more from. As Hijab and Red Lipstick has such emotional depth and deals with topics that can be triggering for readers, in a way which doesn’t belay their importance but is written in a way that does not overwhelm the reader.
As an “Own Voices,” story it gives an insight into a patriarchal society that we all know exists but don’t know much about. Sara’s voice in telling her story is raw, moving and honest. Hijab and Red Lipstick is a book that needs to be in all school libraries and is one that when you read you will feel the urge to pass it on to everyone you know.
You can get your copy here.