A Woman Is No Man is narrated in three voices by three generations of Palestinian women living in Brooklyn, New York. Fareed, the grandmother, spent her childhood in a camp in Israel, suffered at the hands of her abusive husband, yet still wholeheartedly believes that women are inferior to men. Isra, her daughter-in-law, came to Brooklyn from Palestine only days after meeting her husband at the age of seventeen. Isra feels inferior in every way because she has only been able to give her husband daughters. Deya, her eldest daughter, wants to break away from the restrictive restraints of her culture and religion but is afraid of taking that first step.
Ms. Rum presents a grim picture of life for Palestinian/Muslim women. What these women had to endure, especially Isra, is painful to read about. Nonetheless, as difficult as A Woman Is No Man is, I found I had to continue reading because I wanted to find out what happened to Fareed, Isra and Deya.