Confessions Of A Gambler, by Rayda Jacobs
This is the story of a Muslim woman, Abeeda (Beeda), who leads a double life. On the one hand she is a pious mother of four sons, but under the veil she is a daring, independent-minded woman with a sexuality, and a liking for risky behavior, that she keeps secret from those closest to her. We follow her story in two different time frames. As a woman in her forties, dealing with the tragic death of her son from AIDS, Abeeda is drawn into the world of casino gambling and quickly develops a gambling addiction, in which she convulsively wins and loses large amounts of money. In a serious of flash backs we also trace her life as a woman in her twenties, from the time when her husband left her, through a torrid affair with her younger sister's fiance (and then husband) Imran. The episodes in the casino are intense - the compulsive attraction and the nightmare of gambling are made vivid to the reader. On the other hand, Abeeda's involvement in her community, and her genuine spiritual seeking, are also very clear. Weaving together these captivating main story lines are numerous subplots involving her family, religion, friends and her life in the community. The threads of the story are neatly resolved, with an older and wiser Abeeda defeating her compulsive gambling, finally marrying Imran, and adopting his baby daughter after the tragic death of her sister Zulpha.
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