Meet the Indies: Ifraah Samatar, Irsha Akbar

DISCLAIMER: THIS BOOK IS NOT SUITABLE FOR ANYONE UNDER THE AGE OF 18. This is the glorious haram version of Soul Tracing Taboo!

The first book Soul Tracing Taboo is a contemporary dark romance read that poses the question: What happens when an angry young man with a wrath against God and a hatred for religion in a post Trump/Brexit world…collides into a veiled Muslim woman?

Deep huh?

I thought the same when the idea first came to me but the story was too epic to ignore.

Dean and Yasmin take you on a voyage of self discovery, love, culture clash, discrimination, and a battle for the desires of the heart in SOUL TRACING: Taboo.

“She parts her crimson lips and lets out a cry of pleasure. Her heavily made-up eyelids squeeze together as she flings her head further back on the pillow. Waves of flaxen hair spill over her face, giving her the appearance of a fallen angel ” – Chapter 1. (Dean)

The story starts with the POV of Dean Thynne-Edwards Walker. He was abandoned at a Catholic orphanage as an infant and has seen unspeakable abuse whilst growing up. Consequently, Dean blames the church for the horrors of his childhood and vows to get revenge, so his narrative isn’t always kosher. Be warned these chapters contain explicit language, trigger subjects like abuse and adult content.

“I walk out into the corridor, picturing what kind of evil powers Mr. Rowley might have when suddenly, I hear a voice call out from behind me. “Hey!” I frown and turn around sharply. My eyes grow wide as I see him jogging towards me. My breath stops. His grey eyes narrow on me like a target, and I have nowhere to escape. He takes a step forward, closing the space between us, trapping me in situ.” – Chapter 4 (Yasmin)

His path crosses with Yasmin Khan, a devout Muslim from a strict family and a polar opposite to Dean in faith but another individual who, like him, is lost and battling loneliness within her life. Yasmin’s character is one that will make you wonder who the woman behind the veil really is and raises the question: What exactly is oppression? And in the context of the story, which female character is oppressed? The obedient silent daughter being told to cover every inch of her body? or the being told true beauty is revealing her perfect, pouty lips, having the perfect breast, And paying huge amount of money for the perfect hair? Chasing the unattainable standards of beauty but she is being cat called and ridiculed by the same society that told her she was free.

Yasmin demonstrates how depression can clash with culture, and how being torn between two cultures can affect people who have parents from different countries.

Soul Tracing brings a light to the dark side of forbidden love and racism. It shows how women need to have the right to take ownership of their body, their sexuality, and their identity in a relatable and engaging way that encompasses themes of both romance and faith. We also incorporate other topics such as depression, loneliness, and cultural oppression. All of these are vital components of what make this book such a great read. It’s more than a boy meets girl traditional love story, it is a voice for so many people of different ethnicities, and it brings us together with topics that affect everyone, beyond the barriers of skin colour and religion.

We highly recommend you have lots of tissues at the ready before you dive in! You are going to need them on the rollercoaster that is Dean and Yasmin’s story.

Read more about the authors here.