Finding Nouf by Zoë Ferraris
By SMW Staff
Finding Nouf is a San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller and winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. It was also chosen as one of the Best New Voices of the Year by Waterstone’s Booksellers, one of the Ten Best Novels of the Spring by The Independent. It was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and a Book Sense pick.
When sixteen-year-old Nouf goes missing, her prominent family calls on Nayir Sharqi, a pious desert guide, to lead the search party. Ten days later, just as Nayir is about to give up in frustration, her body is discovered by anonymous desert travelers. When the coroner’s office determines that Nouf died not of dehydration but from drowning, and her family seems suspiciously uninterested in getting at the truth, Nayir takes it upon himself to find out what really happened.
He quickly realizes that if he wants to gain access to the hidden world of women, he will have to join forces with Katya Hijazi, a lab worker at the coroner’s office who is bold enough to pursue the investigation on her own. Their partnership challenges Nayir, as he confronts his desire for female companionship and the limitations imposed by his beliefs. Fast-paced and utterly transporting, Finding Nouf is a riveting literary mystery that offers an unprecedented window into Saudi Arabia and the lives of men and women there.
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