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Download Sweetness in the Belly Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Sweetness in the Belly (Unabridged), by Camilla Gibb
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,221 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Camilla Gibb Narrator: Kate Reading Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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When Lilly is eight years old, her pot-smoking hippie British parents leave her at a Sufi shrine in Morocco and inform her they will be back to collect her in three days. Three weeks later, she learns they've been murdered. Lilly fills that haunted hollow in her life with intense study and memorization of the Qur'an under the patient care of the Sufi saint's disciple she was entrusted to.

Years later, Lilly's journey from Morocco to Harar, Ethiopia, is half pilgrimage, half flight. In Harar, even her very traditional Muslim head scarves cannot hide her white skin in her new and strange surroundings; the word farenji, foreigner, is hissed at her everywhere she turns. She eventually builds a life for herself teaching children the Qur'an, and she finds herself falling in love with an idealistic young doctor. But the two are wrenched apart when Lilly is again forced to flee, for her safety and his, this time to London. Despite her British roots, Lilly discovers she is as much an outsider in London as a Muslim as she was in Harar as a white foreigner.

Gibb's haunting narrative takes us seamlessly on a journey between these two distinct worlds: the ancient walled city of Harar and the racially charged atmosphere of 1980s London. Gibb richly evokes the stinging disconnect between Lilly's past life and her present life, between her attempts to start anew and her inability to let go of the past. Lilly's story is laced with longing and regret, but above all hope, hope that time and love can heal the rifts of her turbulent past. Camilla Gibb has pulled off an astounding feat with this stunning novel; never has the distinct and troubled history of this corner of Ethiopia been told with such humanity, warmth, clarity, and grace. Download and start listening now!


Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kathy | 2/17/2014

    " I was engrossed by the storytelling and totally enjoyed this book. It is well-written and I found it such a surprise that the intimate voice comes from a London-born Torontonian. The story is told by Lilly, a white Muslim nurse, whose life journey takes her from Morocco to Ethiopia to London. The unfolding of her story is well-timed and seamless in its transitions. Lilly is educated by a Sufi in reading and interpreting the Qur'an, and the strength of her faith is less driven by idelogical religion than by the search for the path to God. This is a love story at many levels. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jane Gribbon | 2/6/2014

    " I didn't find this storyline gripping and the two settings of London and Harar in Ethiopia didn't always work well for me however I enjoyed reading this book. I was interested to learn more about Ethiopia, Ethiopians and Muslims. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kay | 2/3/2014

    " I thought the character was very convincing and her experience and story seemed true to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lili | 1/30/2014

    " An interesting book with some insight into the Muslim religion. "

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About the Author
Author Camilla Gibb

Camilla Gibb was born in London and grew up in Toronto. She has a PhD in social anthropology from Oxford, for which she conducted fieldwork in Ethiopia. Her novels, Mouthing the Words, winner of the City of Toronto Book Award in 2000, and The Petty Details of So-and-So’s Life have been published in eighteen countries and translated into fourteen languages, receiving rave reviews all around the world. She is one of twenty-one writers on the Orange Futures List—a list of young writers to watch, compiled by the jury of the prestigious Orange Prize. She serves as vice president of PEN Canada and is currently writer-in-residence at the University of Toronto.