An Unproductive Woman

Rated 4.50/5 based on 6 reviews
After ten years of marriage, Asabe and Adam remain childless. Fueled by desperation and a long held secret, Adam marries a second wife. This decision acts as the catalyst to change no one could have predicted. Read An Unproductive Woman to learn what secrets Adam has withheld that would explain his unreasonable longing and pursuit of a son at all costs.

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Words: 112,690
Language: English
ISBN: 9781465872210
About Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali

Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali lives and works in Houston as an oncology nurse. She is married and the mother to three brilliant artistic children who far outstrip her in intelligence.
She writes because she loves to and also because she has a story (or two, or three...) to tell.

Reviews

Review by: Hilary on April 23, 2012 :
Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali did an incredible job with this novel. The characters drive the plot forward and are definitely the main focus in this novel. I formed strong opinions of the characters very early on. Adam is a complete jerk, but makes the story interesting. Asabe is such a sweet, caring and beautiful woman who just wants to give her husband Adam everything he wants, but when that isn't enough she even helps him with his other wives. Asabe tries everything to keep her husbands attention, but he always falters and acts like a child. Adam...he's very frustrating - all he cared about was having a son because he gave up the only son he already had. Asabe had the patience of a saint to put up with Adam for sure. Khaalidah wrote both of these characters as if they truly were soul mates! d'awwww....

This novel is like looking into the still-practiced religions that believe in polygamy, rely heavily on having a son, and the various marriage ceremonies/practices that come with them. Khaalidah really developed each character to the fullest - you can really see these characters coming to life. I felt bad for the characters, wanted to strangle and knock some sense into other characters, and sniffled away tears a few times. Khaalidah showed the perspective of each character beautifully and flawlessly. She shows you exactly what Adam, Asabe, the wives, their extended family, friends, neighbors, etc feel about everything that happens. It's an incredible novel, and a must read for anyone who enjoys looking into different religions, romance, marriage, or simply what happens when you're obsesssed with having a certain gender of a child.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Hilary on April 23, 2012 :
Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali did an incredible job with this novel. The characters drive the plot forward and are definitely the main focus in this novel. I formed strong opinions of the characters very early on. Adam is a complete jerk, but makes the story interesting. Asabe is such a sweet, caring and beautiful woman who just wants to give her husband Adam everything he wants, but when that isn't enough she even helps him with his other wives. Asabe tries everything to keep her husbands attention, but he always falters and acts like a child. Adam...he's very frustrating - all he cared about was having a son because he gave up the only son he already had. Asabe had the patience of a saint to put up with Adam for sure. Khaalidah wrote both of these characters as if they truly were soul mates! d'awwww....

This novel is like looking into the still-practiced religions that believe in polygamy, rely heavily on having a son, and the various marriage ceremonies/practices that come with them. Khaalidah really developed each character to the fullest - you can really see these characters coming to life. I felt bad for the characters, wanted to strangle and knock some sense into other characters, and sniffled away tears a few times. Khaalidah showed the perspective of each character beautifully and flawlessly. She shows you exactly what Adam, Asabe, the wives, their extended family, friends, neighbors, etc feel about everything that happens. It's an incredible novel, and a must read for anyone who enjoys looking into different religions, romance, marriage, or simply what happens when you're obsesssed with having a certain gender of a child.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Margaret (Literary Chanteuse) on April 07, 2012 :
This is an excellent book. It is well written and from just a chapter in I felt both moved by the story and like I knew the characters well. There is such diversity and dynamic relationships between characters. I really look forward to reading more from this author.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Melanie Adkins on March 19, 2012 :
Asabe was married to the man she loved, Adam. She never wanted to be married to any other man. The only thing missing from their happy lives were children. Try as she might Asabe wasn't able to conceive. She didn't know at the time that Adam had a son by a Western woman. All she knew was Adam craved a son. Adam married twice and though he tried, he was given daughters. Asabe goes above and beyond as his first wife. She cooks, cleans, launders his clothing and keeps things running smoothly. His second wife was just a child when she first came to him and although it was tough, Asabe and Fatima became sisters. Adam's third wife was a selfish, arrogant, spoiled woman. Asabe and she had known each other as children. Now it would take every ounce of patience and faith Asabe had to deal with her. When it seems as though tragedy and heartbreak are all Adam's household will know, a miracle happens.


Heartwarming, enriching and full of wonderful life lessons, this book should be on your list. The messages contained in this story are ones everyone can learn something from. Love, marriage, children and doing what's right are all included in this story. One woman endures so much to make her husband happy and to keep her life as peaceful as possible. I recommend this book to everyone. You will be amazed at all she goes through in her lifetime.


I didn't find anything wrong with this one.


I gave this one 5 out of 5 books because it was amazing.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Patti on Feb. 22, 2012 :
I saw the author's thread on MobileRead linking to this ebook, and decided to give it a shot. Even though I didn't know what to expect, I surprised myself - after reading part of the sample, I ended up reading the entire thing in one evening. It was emotionally satisfying, and I found that I came to care about some of the characters and what happened to them.

I consider the story to be an intimate, domestic tale that is character-driven, and also situation-driven. There are no explosions, crimes, famous people or high adventure. We get to know the characters over the course of the story, and there is plenty of character development for some of the main characters as well as an interesting sub-plot. The back story was well placed, without too many flashbacks in too many places.

There are a few reasons the story gets 4 stars instead of 5 from me. First, there are times when the dialog is fairly formal, and suddenly a response will have modern slang from one of the characters who rarely or never uses such expressions and seems jarring when compared with the rest of the book. I also ran across some words that did not have the meanings that the author thought they did as the sentences didn't add up. I did check some of them in case I was mistaken and they had an additional meaning, but that wasn't the case for those words.

One last thing is that the author didn't write about what I think of as the payoff. I don't want to put any spoilers in this review, but when something happened that one of the main characters had been wishing for - in fact, dreaming of - for years occured, we didn't get to join her and her husband in person to share the news with them together in person. Instead, the author skipped forward a couple years in the future.

The bottom line is that even with some issues, I enjoyed this book enough to have finished it, and I expect to enjoy it in a few years when I re-read it. WIth a little editing, "An Unproductive WOman" could be even better, but as it is, it's a good read.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: lisa h on Feb. 05, 2012 :
This was just my kind of book. I have a love of books relating to other cultures like "A Thousand Splendid Suns", "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan". Although these books are possibly still in a different league to this and I gave them a 5* rating being my favourite books, I still gave this a 5* rating because I loved it.

The story is about the marriage of Asabe and Adam and his hidden secret. They have been married for 10 years but have not been able to have children. Although Adam loves Asabe and said he would never take another wife, he really wants a son and heir. He therefore takes a second wife Fatima, who is just a mere child. Fatima and Asabe actually become good friends and develop a good relationship. Fatima does eventually give birth to twins, but both her and her son die and Asabe willingly brings up the daughter as her own. Still wanting a son and heir, Adam takes another wife, who he doesn't really love but comes to an "arrangement" with her father. Asabe and this wife definately do not get on, despite being friends in their childhood. I won't tell more, for fear of leaving spoilers.

I really liked Asabe, and although I found Adam somewhat weak I did feel for him. Asabe to me, was written as a strong character and I really admired her. Despite not liking the character Sauda, the third wife, I had such an amusing picture of her in my head. For those who watch the soap Eastenders in the UK, I pictured her as Kim Fox, brassy and over the top with lots of cleavage and heavily made up. That may not be how the author portrayed her but that is the image I got of her. I love a book when you can form a real picture of the characters in your head. I enjoyed reading about the culture of the polygamous wedding which is alien to a westerner.

All in all the book was descriptive, fun, full of content and well written.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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