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Download Sweetness in the Belly Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Sweetness in the Belly (Unabridged) Audiobook, 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: March 2006 ISBN:
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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!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 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 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 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 Lili | 1/30/2014

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

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin K | 1/27/2014

    " This is such a great book. I read it on the plane ride over to Thailand and it only took me two days to finish. It is sad but tells of a white woman, who is muslim and fluent in arabic, living in Ethiopia in the 1970s during a corrupt regime. Highly recommend it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patrick Brown | 1/27/2014

    " Good book. Started off a little slow for me, but then really started going. Set in South Africa. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sasha | 1/27/2014

    " Enjoyable read. Interesting story. Hard to put down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jodelle | 1/19/2014

    " Members of my book club adored it, I though it was okay. It is good fiction with a lot of cultural and historical perspective. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Colleen | 1/17/2014

    " Lilly, a white Muslim nurse, lives amongst fellow Ethiopian refugees while she searches for her missing lover. Flashbacks to her life in Ethiopia describe life leading up to the deposition of the emperor. Good book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diana D | 1/3/2014

    " Intense descriptions of loss and longing. I really liked the depictions of friendship, community faith and love. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 12/5/2013

    " I learned quite a bit about the Muslim culture. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne | 11/28/2013

    " Liked the construction; not sure the main character is totally credible; very interesting setting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy | 11/25/2013

    " One of my all time fave books! Loved it - it was exactly the kind of book I like to read... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mindy | 11/24/2013

    " This didn't really keep me interested despite being a quick read. The ending was too "wrapped up" and some of the characters seemed very flat to me. The cultural descriptions of Ethiopia were fascinating, but not enought to make this a stellar read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 10/28/2013

    " Surprisingly refreshing and captivating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denae | 6/26/2013

    " I read this book as part of a class I took at Hollins, and really loved it. It's a beautiful story about a people and place that is rarely written about. Pick it up; you won't be sorry. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 5/12/2013

    " January 2008 Book Club Selection by Kiri "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 3/8/2013

    " Read this novel for no other reason than to be "whooshed" away by the stunning language and phrases the author evokes through the characters and their lives. If you happen to come away with a deeper awareness of Ethiopian history and culture, as well as Islamic and Muslim traditions--that's a plus. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Morag | 2/18/2013

    " Very intense read. Beautifully written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Samantha | 1/21/2013

    " Very abrupt ending, but an enjoyable book that shed some light on Islam in Northern Africa. I am intrigued to learn more about what happened in Ethiopia in the 70s politically after this read...I am very ignorant about that subject. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brianne | 12/14/2012

    " fantastic - thanks jennie for allowing me to borrow it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tahereh | 10/6/2012

    " Well, I can say more than hundred times, I was so angry at Lily. I wanted to shake her up and tell her to stop believe in a dream and something which is not real at all and look around to see the real world .... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hilary | 4/29/2012

    " Loved this book and will read more of this author. I can no longer remember the story ... just that I loved it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paulapenkala | 6/18/2011

    " I seem to give most of my books a four but this was one I really enjoyed as it is fiction but gave me more insight into a country and group of people I know little about. Strong women characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phil | 6/11/2011

    " Best book I've read this year so far. I read the Beauty of Humanity Movement before and liked it so I decided to try reading another one of Camilla Gibb's books. Good call!

    I totally understood Lilly and I loved the way her story was presented.

    -Phil "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 April | 5/26/2011

    " I loved this book. It was interesting to see the cultural differences between what Liily saw and what other people saw. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melinda | 5/14/2011

    " Beautifully written. Camilla Gibb intimately portrays the lives of her characters with nuance and warmth. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pam | 4/5/2011

    " Loved this book. I listened to it and I was transfixed by the detail of the time and place. It didn't matter that the storyline was difficult to conceive as really having had occured; it seemed to flow so naturally that it was believable. I learned lots about the Muslim faith and its followers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 3/21/2011

    " I really loved this book. After I finished this book I kept thinking about it and wanted to talk about it. Too bad I wasn't on goodreads then. I read it on a whim and boy was I ever glad I did. Highly recommend. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natalie | 2/14/2011

    " Beautiful writing and story, and I learned some history and culture along the way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brianne | 2/1/2011

    " fantastic - thanks jennie for allowing me to borrow it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lyne | 2/1/2011

    " What an amazing novel. Vivid descriptions and heartache. Now I very much want to travel to these amazing lands! "

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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.

About the Narrator

Kate Reading is an Audie Award–winning narrator and has received numerous Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine. She is also a theater actor in the Washington, DC, area and has been a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company since 1987. Her work onstage has been recognized by the Helen Hayes Awards Society, among others. She and her husband live in Hyattsville, Maryland, with their two children.