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Between Two Moons Reader’s Guide

By Aisha Abdel Gawad

Between Two Moons by Aisha Abdel Gawad


Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. Ramadan is a holy month during which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Why do you think the author decided to set the book during Ramadan?

2. How would you describe the relationship between twin sisters Amira and Lina? What moment in the novel best illustrates the dynamic between them?

3. Amira’s first-person narration is punctuated by a few sections narrated in the third-person. What effect do the third-person sections have on the way the story unfolds?

4. Surveillance is a big theme in the novel. What are some of the different kinds of watching that happen? What is the relationship between the watcher and the watched?

5. What are some moments where you see Amira and Lina reflecting on their identity as Muslims? What role does faith play in their lives? In what ways is the author challenging stereotypical depictions of Muslim women?

6. Where are some red herrings in the novel, moments when you aren’t sure who should be trusted or who might be a threat? Why does the author create this ambiguity around who is an enemy?

7. Some men in the novel–Sami, Abu Jamal, Imam Ghozzi–are hurt or threatened in very obvious, public ways. But the women–Amira, Lina, Mama, and Aziza Ghozzi, for example–largely wrestle with their pain in private. How does gender impact the way the characters experience and process trauma?

8. What were some of your favorite moments of joy or humor in the novel? When do we see the family laughing together and enjoying each other’s company? What do these more light-hearted scenes add to a story so weighted by fear?

9. What was it like to read the NYPD “Demographics Report”? Why include an entire police report, part of which is redacted, in the middle of the novel?

10. By the end of the book, would you say this is a story about a family being broken apart or a family coming together?

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