I Am Yours by Reema Zaman
I Am Yours is haunting, maddening, sad, and heartwarming in one. Really, the memoir begins before Reema Zaman is even born. Her mother is in college when she enters an arranged marriage. Reema is her firstborn. As she grows up, she questions the role of women in this world. She sees her mother trapped in an unhappy marriage. Her own dabbles in relationships lead to a range of outcomes. It ends up being a powerful look at relationships between men and women, families, and humans in general. It's not always pretty, but it's painfully honest.
I've seen some of the meanness that exists. I housed a Muslim college student for a month. The comments made when people thought we couldn't hear - maybe they just didn't care - stunned me. I watched a mother tell her young daughter that "men with brown skin" are dangerous. I watched three older men follow us around the store while saying he must be up to no good. This was essentially how a grown Muslim man was treated.
I cannot begin to imagine what it's like when you're actually the one in those shoes. The things Reema experiences run from being a strong player in the #metoo movement to emotional and verbal abuse from a family member. It's sad that people judge, bully, and harass and think it's okay. As I read each chapter, I became eager to read to the end.
Is I Am Yours an easy read? Not a chance. I had to adjust to her writing style to start with. Once I did, I was heartbroken at times and it made for tough reading. It's so worthwhile though. If you like memoirs, it's a must.