The Night of the Mi’raj, a page-turner authored by Zoe Ferraris is a murder mystery set in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. When 16-year-old Nouf ash-Shrawi goes missing days before her wedding, her wealthy family are overcome with grief. But when her body is found in a desert with the autopsy revealing that she’d been pregnant, the Shrawi’s suddenly lose interest in the events that lead to her death. All except for one: Nouf’s eldest brother Othman whom had cared for her the most.
Intent on finding out what had happened to his sister, Othman first asks the family desert guide and good friend, Nayir to investigate the circumstance of Nouf’s death. How did she end up in the desert? Women in Saudi are banned from traveling without a male, so why wasn’t anybody with her? How did nobody notice Nouf was on her way there? Was she trying to escape from getting married?
While the facts are still being uncovered, Othman’s fiance Katya, a lab technician who performed Nouf’s autopsy, investigates a little further than she’d been hired for. Working closely with Nayir, a devout Muslim displeased with this arrangement, Nouf’s story gradually unfolds in many layers, defying the expectations of the reader.
Unlike any other mystery you’ve read before, this novel also serves as an educational journey into the culture and lives of Saudi men and women, contributing to and eliminating some aspects of common stereotypes. Ferraris so creatively captures the essence of the storyline masked by her compelling narrative style, leaving the reader hungry for more.
Quick Facts about The Night of the Mi’raj:
- It is Ferraris’ debut novel.
- The book is commonly published under the title Finding Nouf.
- Winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction.
For a gripping experience through a rich, traditional culture so different from ours, The Night of the Mi’raj is an ideal novel permitting an easy escape from our reality into another’s.