The Hopes and Triumphs of the Amir Sisters by Nadiya Hussain – extract

The Hopes and Triumphs of the Amir Sisters by Nadiya Hussain, the third book in the Amir Sisters series,  was published by HQ Stories on 23 January 2020.

Today I have an extract from the book

Today she didn’t mind the idea of this random man
looking at her. He could’ve maybe done with a shave and
his eyes were kind of beady, plus the grey coat was too
big for him but in that moment it was nice to be seen.
She took out her kohl pencil and applied it in the rims
of her eyes. The final touch was the blusher, which she
brushed on maybe too vigorously, but she felt the overall
effect wasn’t bad. In fact, she looked quite nice. Mae shut
the mirror and took a deep breath as she glanced over
at the man again. He was grinning now as he tapped on
the phone and she felt a sense of unease. She watched as
he scratched his head with his finger then looked under
the fingernail, scraping whatever had gathered in there
under his seat. Vom. Mae had to shake her head. First,
she bursts into tears in public, then the next man that
looks at her suddenly becomes a potential boyfriend.
Boyfriend! Mae! As if.
‘Gross,’ she muttered as the man this time scratched
the inside of his ear.
No, Mae had never been like Farah who only ever
wanted to get married – and look how that worked out.
Then there was Fatti who looked for love and found it
with Ash. Despite the fear of her parents, she genuinely
thought that she was more like Bubblee when it came to
relationships. Just not that bothered. Like, whatever. Mae
couldn’t help but feel now though that it would be nice
to have someone to chill with, relax on her bed. Maybe
in her bed. Her parents really would kill her if they even
32
got a hint that the thought crossed her mind. Even Farah
and Fatti wouldn’t approve, they were so traditional.
Wasn’t that what university was about though? Living
life? Doing things – even if you weren’t meant to do
them? Her dad was right – she’d been a ‘good’ girl her
whole life. Bubblee would scoff at that: Do you know
how damaging it is to put women into these kinds of
categories? As if exploring their identity in ways their
families don’t agree with makes them bad. Mae knew she
was quite attractive, she just never really made an effort,
but maybe now it was time. She was nineteen, for God’s
sake! She looked over at the man and realised now that
actually he was kind of creepy. It didn’t matter, because
the more she thought about it, the more it made sense:
she would get back to university and make an effort to
find a boyfriend and have a relationship. Somehow the
idea of it felt easier than just making friends. People
hooked up all the time at student bars so she’d just give
that a go and see where it led. She imagined it was far
easier to snog someone than have a conversation with
them, so whatever. The fact of the matter was that she
did not want to be alone any more, so she was going
to buck up, stop complaining and make some changes.
The train pulled into the next station as the creepy man
got up and looked at her again, but this time there was
disgust on his face and Mae’s heart thudded, unnerved
by a look of such loathing. What the hell had she done
to him? It took her a few more stops but she shrugged it
33
off, told herself it was nothing, and anyway, who cared?
Now she had a plan for university and it would change
everything.
Sistaaaas
Bubblee: Join some organisations! I just signed up
to one for modern female artists.
Farah: How much time will that take up?
Bubblee: Only once a month. And then some
volunteering, but that’ll only be one weekend a
month.
Farah: A whole weekend?? You have a baby, you
know …
Ugh, Mae thought. Whatever she decided to do had to
be better than what her sisters were doing, at least.
Mae: Got 2uni. Soz cudn’t stay longer.
Fatti: We miss you xxx
Bubblee: Join some organisations! I just signed up
to one for modern female artists.
Farah: How much time will that take up?
Bubblee: Only once a month. And then some
volunteering, but that’ll only be one weekend a
month.
Farah: A whole weekend?? You have a baby, you
know …

Ugh, Mae thought. Whatever she decided to do had to
be better than what her sisters were doing, at least.

About the book

Mae has watched as her three older sisters have gone through the process of finding their place in the world and faced the challenges of parenthood head on. Now ready to spread her wings beyond her close-knit family, Mae is ready to take the world by storm.

But a series of events will shake the strong self-belief Mae has always had in herself and will leave her questioning where it is she really fits in.

The Amir sisters will need to draw on all the love they have for each other, if they are going to navigate the challenges life has to throw at them and help Mae along the path to self-discovery.

 

 

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