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Not Easily Washed Away: Memoirs of a Muslim's Daughter

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From the Editor: Not Easily Washed Away is a heart-wrenching tale told in the first person by Laila, the female Pakistani victim of her father's sexual abuse over a span of fifteen years. Because it is in first person, the reader directly sees the psychological impact of the abuse and comes to understand how the abuser manipulates the victim into cooperating in it. We see From the Editor: Not Easily Washed Away is a heart-wrenching tale told in the first person by Laila, the female Pakistani victim of her father's sexual abuse over a span of fifteen years. Because it is in first person, the reader directly sees the psychological impact of the abuse and comes to understand how the abuser manipulates the victim into cooperating in it. We see the psychological costs of being abused—denial, depression, mental splitting, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, alcohol abuse, hopelessness, shame, fear of harm to her family—but gradually we also experience Laila's struggle. Set in the context of Muslim society where the young female victim knows her word will not be believed in preference to that of her "good" Muslim father, the story could have happened anywhere. Yes, the details are shocking, but they are not prurient, as the negative reviews have suggested. They are sickening and saddening but they are real. The details serve to underline the horrible things that abusers do to kids. I learned much about how the relationship between abuser and victim works and why it is so hard for the victim to break away and recover. This story is all the more moving because it is true. It took great courage for Laila to expose her life in this way, even if she does use a pseudonym. Her opening explanation for why she wrote the book reveals her hope that at least one abused individual will read it and live a healthy, happy life after the horrific experiences of such a childhood. Synopsis: Not Easily Washed Away is the true story of a young girl who was born to a Muslim family in Pakistan. She suffered through sexual, mental and physical abuse for fifteen years, which was perpetrated by her father Abdulla. Laila decides to take advantage of her father’s incestuous addiction by having him acquire a visa for her to the United States, where she feels as if she can rid herself of a putrid past. The book is written from a psychological perspective in first person, as Laila shares her painful past with the reader, sparing no details of her ordeal as a child, teenager and young adult. After she realizes her father’s diabolical plan is to keep her in Pakistan for himself, Laila decides to take fate into her own hands. Her new attitude helps her to turn the tables on her father, now living in America, and manipulate him into marrying an American woman to get Laila’s visa to the United States. The United States is not the instantaneous answer to Laila's plight. She arrived in Seattle, Washington, in 2004 to start a new life away from her father, but ends up being unable to stop the incestuous relationship with him and later on, with her stepmother. Things get even worse for Laila, as she is now twenty years old, depressed, and worried that her family’s fate back in Pakistan might be jeopardized if she leaves home. In the Spring of 2007 Laila’s life changes when her younger sister arrived from Pakistan and when she meets an interesting, Christian, Jamaican man at school. The young man confronts Laila about the abuse, and when she realizes she has feelings for him, she tells him everything. The young man tries to convince Laila that she can become mentally stronger and free herself of her abusive father and stepmother by running away with him.


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From the Editor: Not Easily Washed Away is a heart-wrenching tale told in the first person by Laila, the female Pakistani victim of her father's sexual abuse over a span of fifteen years. Because it is in first person, the reader directly sees the psychological impact of the abuse and comes to understand how the abuser manipulates the victim into cooperating in it. We see From the Editor: Not Easily Washed Away is a heart-wrenching tale told in the first person by Laila, the female Pakistani victim of her father's sexual abuse over a span of fifteen years. Because it is in first person, the reader directly sees the psychological impact of the abuse and comes to understand how the abuser manipulates the victim into cooperating in it. We see the psychological costs of being abused—denial, depression, mental splitting, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, alcohol abuse, hopelessness, shame, fear of harm to her family—but gradually we also experience Laila's struggle. Set in the context of Muslim society where the young female victim knows her word will not be believed in preference to that of her "good" Muslim father, the story could have happened anywhere. Yes, the details are shocking, but they are not prurient, as the negative reviews have suggested. They are sickening and saddening but they are real. The details serve to underline the horrible things that abusers do to kids. I learned much about how the relationship between abuser and victim works and why it is so hard for the victim to break away and recover. This story is all the more moving because it is true. It took great courage for Laila to expose her life in this way, even if she does use a pseudonym. Her opening explanation for why she wrote the book reveals her hope that at least one abused individual will read it and live a healthy, happy life after the horrific experiences of such a childhood. Synopsis: Not Easily Washed Away is the true story of a young girl who was born to a Muslim family in Pakistan. She suffered through sexual, mental and physical abuse for fifteen years, which was perpetrated by her father Abdulla. Laila decides to take advantage of her father’s incestuous addiction by having him acquire a visa for her to the United States, where she feels as if she can rid herself of a putrid past. The book is written from a psychological perspective in first person, as Laila shares her painful past with the reader, sparing no details of her ordeal as a child, teenager and young adult. After she realizes her father’s diabolical plan is to keep her in Pakistan for himself, Laila decides to take fate into her own hands. Her new attitude helps her to turn the tables on her father, now living in America, and manipulate him into marrying an American woman to get Laila’s visa to the United States. The United States is not the instantaneous answer to Laila's plight. She arrived in Seattle, Washington, in 2004 to start a new life away from her father, but ends up being unable to stop the incestuous relationship with him and later on, with her stepmother. Things get even worse for Laila, as she is now twenty years old, depressed, and worried that her family’s fate back in Pakistan might be jeopardized if she leaves home. In the Spring of 2007 Laila’s life changes when her younger sister arrived from Pakistan and when she meets an interesting, Christian, Jamaican man at school. The young man confronts Laila about the abuse, and when she realizes she has feelings for him, she tells him everything. The young man tries to convince Laila that she can become mentally stronger and free herself of her abusive father and stepmother by running away with him.

30 review for Not Easily Washed Away: Memoirs of a Muslim's Daughter

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jeannie

    This book doesn't even deserve a half-a-star rating. Unquestionably, in my opinion, one of the most poorly written books I have ever had the misfortune to read. Sadly for me, since I was so pumped about reading this book. The author, Brian A Levene, posted that the first 20 people to friend him on GoodReads would receive a free copy and since it sounded interesting and was the type of book I truly love I friended him. I finally received my copy after numerous delays relating to what Brian said w This book doesn't even deserve a half-a-star rating. Unquestionably, in my opinion, one of the most poorly written books I have ever had the misfortune to read. Sadly for me, since I was so pumped about reading this book. The author, Brian A Levene, posted that the first 20 people to friend him on GoodReads would receive a free copy and since it sounded interesting and was the type of book I truly love I friended him. I finally received my copy after numerous delays relating to what Brian said was their (him and his co-author Anon Beauty) dissatisfaction with the cover photo. Seriously, they should have cared more about the writing and editing of this book. Jumpy, fracturted sentences, horrible grammar and punctuation, sentence structure all over the place, I could go on and on about how the writing made me cringe. NO amount of editing could have saved this book! I honestly believe she wrote most of this book and being foreign I can forgive some of the way it's worded but seriously, it would have been better to have burned it and started over with her telling her story to a real author who maybe could have written her life story into a decent memoir. I think this was thrown together for a fast buck and it shows. As for her story itself, she is not a likable victim at all. I had to put this book down numerous times just shaking my head over the things she got herself into. She seems manipulative to me in the extreme, not all victims of abuse turn out that way, so no excuse there. I was shocked toward the end of the book to find out that the married man, Arthur Lavelle, she got into a relationship with and had a child by is in reality Brian A Levene, the co-author of this book. Come on now! Did they actually think the reader wouldn't pick up on that one? Why not be honest, THIS IS supposed to be a memoir right? My thoughts are if she felt the need to fabricate his name then what else in the book has she done this to? She has an excuse for everything she does and not one of them makes any sense at all. My advice is don't waste your precious reading time OR your money on this horrible excuse for a memoir. Even though this book was free to me, I feel ripped off wasting the time it took to read it. UGH!!!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cassy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. ****Readers should be warned that this book contained intense topics about sexual abuse. Therefore, this review will discuss those topics. If you are not comfortable reading that, then discontinue reading this review.***** I was actually hoping that this turned into a fantastic book. I hoped that this was really going to show a moving story of a girl who had a hard life and everything she went through and the challenges that she overcame. Unfortunately, I really didn't get any of that out of it. ****Readers should be warned that this book contained intense topics about sexual abuse. Therefore, this review will discuss those topics. If you are not comfortable reading that, then discontinue reading this review.***** I was actually hoping that this turned into a fantastic book. I hoped that this was really going to show a moving story of a girl who had a hard life and everything she went through and the challenges that she overcame. Unfortunately, I really didn't get any of that out of it. While the things that happened in this story were certainly tragic, Levene's writing just wasn't capable of transferring it to his readers. Laila is a Muslim girl raised, for most of her life, in Pakistan. She lives with her father's family, who hates and despises her. They believe that her father did her mother a favor by marrying her, despite the fact that her mother is educated and came from a fairly well educated family, while her father's family was not. They looked down on Laila and her mother and sister because they had to support them while her father was in Mecca and they essentially treated Laila and her mother and sister as slaves in their home. Her mother fell into depression because of it, all but neglecting her daughters. She saw herself as a failure, and was viewed as a failure, because she did not produce boys. This was not even the worst of Laila's life. Around the time that she was ten years old, her father started sexually molesting her. It started with kissing her and showing her pornography and progressed in to blowjobs and oral sex for his daughter and, eventually, full intercourse. It was something that tortured his daughter her whole life. Even when she was finally able to escape him, it still haunted her. These were horrible things done to a young girl. All her life she questioned what she had done wrong, which is often what rape victims do, especially ones so young who are molested by relatives. It wasn't the topic of this book that bothered me. What bothered me was how Levene presented it. The whole book read like a text book. It felt like I was reading a how too book on how to be sexually molested. I didn't connect with the character in any way. One of the biggest issues was that he never allowed me to interpret how Laila felt. It seemed every step of the way I got a laundry list of her feelings, leaving this huge disconnect between me and the main character. I think if you're going to write a book with this delicate of a topic, you really need to make sure you reader feels something for your character. I felt more for her sister (who it is indicated was also molested though the suspicions are never confirmed) mainly because I'm never in her head. No one is ever sitting there telling me exactly how she feels. When Laila finally gets to America (which she does by talking dirty to her father and thinking she's in control. Again, I should have felt horrible for her, knowing she wasn't in control at all but there was nothing.) she is in a terrible situation. His father got married to an American to stay in the country and the woman believes that Laila should be her slave. Laila works night and day, goes to school constantly and drinks herself into a stupor to deal with the pressure in her life. To deal with all of her secrets she remains drunk almost twenty four hours a day. When her younger sister comes to the states, it almost makes things worse. In some ways it does. Probably the thing that bothers me the most is how Laila finally deals with her problems. She doesn't work them out by seeing a therapist. She basically gets a sugar daddy. Christan, who does seem to genuinely care about her, and frequently tells her he loves her, takes both her and her sister in. But he goes about it the wrong way. They run away with him. Eventually the end up in New York. Laila's sister moves out because Laila believes that she needs time alone with Christian and their new baby (another vice that really bothers me) and the advice that Christian always gives her is never really GOOD advice. She really needs to see someone and talk to someone who is not so emotionally invested in her but instead, they're really using each other to just forget about their problems. No real healing is going on and this book is trying to praise that. Ok, yes, it's great that she finally is free from her father's home and abuse. But what about her sister who has a lot of things that she's been hiding? The decision is to just let her go and deal with it herself instead of getting her some real help? And Laila deals with her problems by burying them. There is still so much that's wrong with Laila's life and now she's bringing new life into the world when she doesn't even have herself together. Over all, my biggest criticism of Levene's book is that I was so disconnected from the characters. I should have been sobbing through this book with all the horrendous things that Laila went through but instead, I was neither here nor there about it. Yes, I feel bad these things happened but I was never really over wrought with emotion. I want to be connected to my main characters. I wouldn't really recommend this to anyone. It's kind of a bad portrayal of all sorts of everything,

  3. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    Do yourself a favor, download the free sample before you spend $9 on this book. The writing style and lack of editing make for a less than enjoyable read. This book will make you wish you could go back in time and unread it. I would also like to add that since posting my review I have been contacted repeatedly by the authors basically telling me to delete my review. proof of this is on my amazon review where brian denied ever telling me to delete it. I posted in it's entirety, one of his emails t Do yourself a favor, download the free sample before you spend $9 on this book. The writing style and lack of editing make for a less than enjoyable read. This book will make you wish you could go back in time and unread it. I would also like to add that since posting my review I have been contacted repeatedly by the authors basically telling me to delete my review. proof of this is on my amazon review where brian denied ever telling me to delete it. I posted in it's entirety, one of his emails to me so I won't bother to post it here too. After I blocked the authors from contacting me here I was followed and harassed and you may as well say stalked to a Facebook reading group by brian. I unjoined to get away from him and blocked his Facebook profile. Then he opens this Facebook group and has the nerve to claim he is being stalked. Never in my life have I had to deal with such utter nonsense just because I has the misfortune to read a lousy book. quote from Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Not-Eas... Not Easily Washed Away:Memoirs Of A Muslim's Daughter It's crazy!! My editor is a professor from University of California, Berkeley, so you can recognize bullshit as soon as you see it. I did not know haters could become so obsessive. They’re literally stalking by book pages. I'm holding my tongue since it's actually working against them because more people try to figure out what the hell they're talking about and read the four-chapter excerpt.

  4. 4 out of 5

    BookActivist

    First let me say, I read this book within a 24 hour period. In my opinion about the first half of the book went over very smoothly. However half way through it was as though somebody else was telling the story. I understand that this is an uncorrected proof, but it does not change that I did have a hard time reading this book from front to back. It is very easy to tell that the person wrote this book, that their first language is NOT english. I have read many books on this subject matter and I h First let me say, I read this book within a 24 hour period. In my opinion about the first half of the book went over very smoothly. However half way through it was as though somebody else was telling the story. I understand that this is an uncorrected proof, but it does not change that I did have a hard time reading this book from front to back. It is very easy to tell that the person wrote this book, that their first language is NOT english. I have read many books on this subject matter and I have never come across one that wasn't written in a foreigners language. 3/4 of the way through I was ready to simply be finished with the book. Things throughout the book just didn't make sense. It jumped from event to event, year to year none of it seeming to fit together for me. I write this to offend no one, because it is good for victims that she has came out about what her father has done to her. But this book just made me feel sick and nasty, in my opinion it was written in the wrong light. But I cannot say, for I have never experienced what she has.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Eva Marie

    I'm finally getting to this. I'll keep it short and sweet. It sucks. It's the biggest piece of dog shit I've ever encountered. I'd bet my life savings that 99% of the reviews on here accompany ratings of more than 1 star are fake. Go to amazon.com, look up this book, and read the comments. The "authors" proceeded to get so angry over a few negative reviews there that they not only started stalking the reviewers but they made fake accounts to pretend to be other people to say the book is "great". I'm finally getting to this. I'll keep it short and sweet. It sucks. It's the biggest piece of dog shit I've ever encountered. I'd bet my life savings that 99% of the reviews on here accompany ratings of more than 1 star are fake. Go to amazon.com, look up this book, and read the comments. The "authors" proceeded to get so angry over a few negative reviews there that they not only started stalking the reviewers but they made fake accounts to pretend to be other people to say the book is "great". The problem with that? They didn't do it in a believable manner. It's plain to see the author(s) are behind it. They're very childish and it's a turn-off. About the book, my first review was honest, yet decent. All bets are off after seeing the authors ugliness. I tried to be decent and say the book "just wasn't for me" but if I'm going to be 100% honest I wouldn't wipe my dogs ass with this book. I actually threw it in the garbage instead of passing it on like I normally would. Even books I totally disagree with I wouldn't do that with. It's just not me. But I'm not the kind of person who wants to actually hurt people and reading this HURTS bad. The author has no business writing. I doubt he can speak after reading this. My 5 year old can construct a better sentence than Levene. I have no respect for any author who places himself/herself in a "fictional" book, under a slightly different name and then proceeds to brag on themselves. Yuck. The girl the book is about? Yeah. The contradictions in the book? I'd bet a large sum of money that at least half - maybe all - is made up. I read "mis-lit", I know what's out there, that's not why I say this. I say this because it's obvious it was at the very least embellished. Hella embellished. Any author that takes such offense to a stranger not loving their book has deep mental issues that need resolving. I wish there was a way I could prove this because I'm certain, absolutely certain, that most of the positive reviews are fakes. Instead of encouraging you to stay away I encourage you to READ this! (Don't pay for it - you'll regret that - be sure about it.) But read it, or try to anyway, and leave a review so that others can be aware of what trash this is. This isn't worth the poor paper is was printed on. I could have handed it to my daughter (the five year old) and had HER edit it and had a better job done. Both "authors" should be ashamed and I'd advise them both to apply at McDonald's - writing isn't for either of you and you'll never make it. I took this off of the usual lists because the only two I have that it belongs on are 'wtf' and 'couldn-t-finish-yuck'. Look at the number of books I have listed as read. Then look at the number of books I have rated 1 star or on these two lists. And then note that NO OTHER BOOK IN THE HISTORY OF MY GR ACCOUNT HAS GOTTEN THIS SAME TREATMENT. NONE. Then remember this, no one ever wants to get someone to leave a fake review for their book. But sometimes, oh sometimes, people do want to have others leave positive reviews. (Or themselves of course.) This book is sitting somewhere in a dump right now and I'm sure if trash could talk all the surrounding trash would be evicting this pile of shit. **Go to some (all?) of the five star reviews and look at the profiles. Most have no pics, nothing about the person, few or no other books listed, etc. You can't get more obvious. Most (all?) signed up to GR, left the glowing five star review for this awful mess and then promptly never returned. lol But we're supposed to believe those are real reviews, real thoughts.... from real people?**

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mini

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Where to begin, where to begin? I guess I will begin with a disclaimer that this will contain spoilers. So do not read beyond this if you do not want to know some pivotal happenings in the book. I believe there is a good chance some of what is in this may have actually happened. But I believe Anon Beauty when she writes of herself, describing herself as a great liar. I do not believe for one minute her step mother molested her. I also cannot believe she felt entitled to overdraft the woman account Where to begin, where to begin? I guess I will begin with a disclaimer that this will contain spoilers. So do not read beyond this if you do not want to know some pivotal happenings in the book. I believe there is a good chance some of what is in this may have actually happened. But I believe Anon Beauty when she writes of herself, describing herself as a great liar. I do not believe for one minute her step mother molested her. I also cannot believe she felt entitled to overdraft the woman account to the tune of over $400. And run her cell phone bill up. And this is just what she admits to doing. And when she listed her grievances of her "slave" like treatment in the form of a chore list, I was really stumped. One day mow the lawn. One day wash and fold the towels. Etc. Are you kidding? Those are normal chores. I went to school full time, worked a full time 40 week day job, worked a weekend midnight shift job and still had to do all those things. She also admits to stealing from both her mother and grandmother so she could purchase phone cards to call her father. She felt entitled to do this because she wanted to use phone sex as a way to manipulate her father into bring her to the United States first. She becomes obsessed with the US culture only after learning her father was leaving for the US. And finally, I find her obsessively shallow. She sees her future husband one time and decides he is the man of her dreams. Not because he is a good man, a good person, or a godly person. But because he had lips like the top of brownie? I only wish I was making this up. She is color struck from watching too many rappers on MTV. But hates when someone mentions her melanin? Oh, and I do not want to leave out that the only detail she knows of his personal life is that he is married with 2 kids. She becomes obsessed with a father of two. A married man. Never for a minute does she consider this a factor in her color struck, MTV fueled obsession. I am just beyond dumbfounded by what these two (or was it really just one author?) put out.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sabrina Rutter

    This book literally made me ache deep in my heart. Just to read about the things this woman experienced, and all the things she had to do just to get her basic human rights. It's hard enough being an abused woman here in the USA where we have shelters and other sources to help us out of the situation. Imagine living in Muslim society as an abused woman, well that's exactly what happened to the woman sharing her horrific life story in this book. I was drawn into this womans account of abuse so muc This book literally made me ache deep in my heart. Just to read about the things this woman experienced, and all the things she had to do just to get her basic human rights. It's hard enough being an abused woman here in the USA where we have shelters and other sources to help us out of the situation. Imagine living in Muslim society as an abused woman, well that's exactly what happened to the woman sharing her horrific life story in this book. I was drawn into this womans account of abuse so much so that I read it in one sitting. I couldn't put this book down until I knew the final outcome. All the abuse she suffered, and how she had to endure even more just to buy her freedom. It's truelly shocking,and heartbreaking that one human being had to go through so much at the hands of her own father. I'm truelly amazed by this womans strength. For so many years she suffered in silence just to save her family from pain. Then when she saw a possible escape she didn't once back away from it even though it caused more damage to her already scarred spirit. This is an amazing account of surviving severe abuse. I say amazing becuase I'm truelly impressed with this womans will to survive, and keep going even when there seemed to be no light at the end of the long dark tunnel. My only complaint with this book is the poor editing. There were so many simple mistakes in this book that had I proofread it myself I could have fixed them, and I'm not an editor. *********UPDATE********** The author sent me this book to highlight the mistakes, and then I was unable to send it back to him. His editor failed him. He does not speak english as his native language, and neither does his wife. He had a lot of trouble getting this book to be what he wanted it to be. I assumed he got a new editor since I was unable to send back the file of corrections. It is my belief that with the right editor this book would have gotten higher ratings.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amruta Sonandkar

    The Book started good...very touchy.but the later turned out to be a disappointment. Sounded fake

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Mouttaki

    This was a disturbing book, merely because of the sheer level of abuse that occurred to the girl. Somewhat anti-climactic and the ending was sort of blah. Short, fast read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amber Carson

    I want to first start by saying that I did in fact buy this book for my nook through Barnes & Noble. I was not given a copy for free and I did actually use my money to buy this book. I felt like that needed to be said after reading so many comments on other reviews stating that people only rated this book positively due to the fact they were given a copy for free. Not every book is for everybody, with so many books available out there you have the freedom to pick and choose what you want to read I want to first start by saying that I did in fact buy this book for my nook through Barnes & Noble. I was not given a copy for free and I did actually use my money to buy this book. I felt like that needed to be said after reading so many comments on other reviews stating that people only rated this book positively due to the fact they were given a copy for free. Not every book is for everybody, with so many books available out there you have the freedom to pick and choose what you want to read. I respect everybody’s reviews, comments and opinions about “Not Easily Washed Away” And I would like to share my opinion. Not Easily Washed Away was a very hard book to read but it was also a very hard book to put down. I finished this book in one sitting because I could not stop reading until I reached the end. There were extremely graphic scenes of sexual abuse that did make me cringe at certain times and perhaps the Author could have worded things differently or left parts out but in the end he chose to word things the way he did and include a lot of detail, and that does make this hard to read and definitely not for young readers. I won’t dwell on what the Author could have done differently because what’s the point in that? I was an emotional wreck reading “Not Easily Washed Away” my eyes were opened to a different culture, a culture where women are second class citizens and are not treated equal in the least. The Women in this book were abused emotionally, mentally, physically and sexually. Not Easily Washed Away takes readers through one women’s Journey through a hellish childhood, her escape into a new life and learning to accept and overcome the abuse she suffered at the hands of those she trusted most. I would have no problem recommending this book for the right reader; obviously this book is not for young readers. I think as long as a person is warned about the graphic nature of the sexual abuse scenes in this book they can make their own decision to read it or not.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Love

    I as most of you know am a big fan of memoirs..this one being no different. Was in love with the authors right from chapter one. Written simply perfect IMO. This is such a tough subject to write about. You have to decide how candid you are going to be that is for sure. Ask yourself how much is to much to share with the world? It has to be a hard choice to make to put yourself out there for all to see. Doing so in my eyes makes you a very brave soul. First off, if this is how most women in that co I as most of you know am a big fan of memoirs..this one being no different. Was in love with the authors right from chapter one. Written simply perfect IMO. This is such a tough subject to write about. You have to decide how candid you are going to be that is for sure. Ask yourself how much is to much to share with the world? It has to be a hard choice to make to put yourself out there for all to see. Doing so in my eyes makes you a very brave soul. First off, if this is how most women in that country are treated this is very sad. Just use as you please? Is that how they feel about women? I went back and fourth on did the mother know? After finishing it I am still not sure. He had sex with his daughter while his wife and other children were in the room. I am a mother and I do not think this is something you would or could sleep through. I also think she was one of his victim's in a different way. To go off to the USA and marry another women, after she stood by him. Makes you feel for her. I also wondered why it was so easy for her to forgive her mother. She physically abused her also. Throwing things at her, causing injury. The stepmother then also abuses her. I am amazed that this poor girl could make it out alive after 15 years of this abuse. The only things this left me wondering..What happened after? Did the father stay in the USA or did he ever go back to his family? Was she finally able to completely break free or did he keep on stalking her, looking for her & her sister? I gave this the 5 star rating it deserved. Worth you time and money IMO. I can honestly say I would read this again.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Orbs n Rings

    Numbing, shocking, heartbreaking, a story that will leave you wondering how Laila may even begin to heal. I received a complimentary ebook copy of Not Easily Washed Away for review from Levene. I was not sure what to expect when I started reading this story since it begins innocently enough. A poor family in Pakistan one of hundreds living their lives in a culture with their own morals and values. It did not take long before Laila begins the nightmare that so consumed her everyday. Laila had her Numbing, shocking, heartbreaking, a story that will leave you wondering how Laila may even begin to heal. I received a complimentary ebook copy of Not Easily Washed Away for review from Levene. I was not sure what to expect when I started reading this story since it begins innocently enough. A poor family in Pakistan one of hundreds living their lives in a culture with their own morals and values. It did not take long before Laila begins the nightmare that so consumed her everyday. Laila had her innocence removed by the man that was supposed to protect her. I can see how all the rage she kept deep inside her was then released on her siblings. Reading about Laila'a battle with depression throughout the book left me wondering how she could even begin to live each day. I was in total shock at times reading this book. It is so sad and appalling on how some cultures treat women and children. However this happens everywhere even here in the good old USA. I hope Laila continues to receive therapy and treatment for this abuse. This is a life long process that needs to be addressed, so she can be present fully as a mother to her own children. Being a psychology major I know that as her children grow and reach the age she was when she was abused, these issues will surface for her again and again. Children also pickup on how the mother feels daily and project this onto themselves. Laila will always be a child, deep inside her that little girl was stunted. Her stepmother should be charged with abuse. I consider her stepmother to be a disgusting piece of garbage who took advantage of Laila's child like personality, to abuse her instead of help her. That man who was supposed to be her father should also be charged with rape, incest and so much more. Someone needs to take that man off the street for good. To bad Laila did not let him hang when she had the chance. I received a copy of this book for review and have not been compensated in any other way. Opinions expressed here are solely my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I had heard some negative comments about this book and decided to ignore those and find out for myself. There are a lot of books about "abuse" on the market and often you read some of them and they tend to be so similar you wonder if they are all true. I had no doubts with this one whatsoever and I was not disappointed in the slightest with this book. It was totally different from others that I had read, in that the narrator of the book came from Pakistan and was a muslim, as was the offender. I I had heard some negative comments about this book and decided to ignore those and find out for myself. There are a lot of books about "abuse" on the market and often you read some of them and they tend to be so similar you wonder if they are all true. I had no doubts with this one whatsoever and I was not disappointed in the slightest with this book. It was totally different from others that I had read, in that the narrator of the book came from Pakistan and was a muslim, as was the offender. I really liked the main "character" who was telling her story, and felt for her throughout the book. Some decisions she made really made me think that she must be in a really dark place to think that she needed to constantly do what was being asked of her. Especially as she reached her late teens. Who knows how they would feel in that same situation? When she went to the US I thought that maybe things would change for her, but she still suffered the most cruelest abuse. You hear many abuse stories in the Christian and Catholic faiths, and common sense tells you it would not be restricted to just these two faiths, but this was from the Muslim faith which is rarely documented. It shows that there are abusers all over the world who carry on their sick acts behind closed doors, hidden from those who think they know them best. I thought this was well written, graphic in parts maybe, but this lent to the book and needed to be told. I truly hope that "anon beauty" can somehow go on and enjoy a better life, and put her sadistic abuser to the back of her mind. I won this book through goodreads, but have not been paid in any way for my review. The words are all my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lora

    "I won this on Goodreads and was very excited to start it. I had the unedited version which made it more difficult because of the many typos and errors in the sentences and how it affected the continuity of the book. Maybe because of my own inability to completely understand sexual abuse and it's affects, I had a hard time with this book. On one level I understand that sexual abuse starting at such an early age with one's own father, it would skew what the girl would think sex is about. But as a "I won this on Goodreads and was very excited to start it. I had the unedited version which made it more difficult because of the many typos and errors in the sentences and how it affected the continuity of the book. Maybe because of my own inability to completely understand sexual abuse and it's affects, I had a hard time with this book. On one level I understand that sexual abuse starting at such an early age with one's own father, it would skew what the girl would think sex is about. But as a young adult and allowing a strange woman to do the same was beyond my reasoning. She would speak of how dirty it made her feel but then would speak of enjoying the sex toys in the bathroom and sharing them with her sister. At times the over indulgence in drinking and smoking seemed like the typical young adult of today, rather than anything to do with the affects of sexual abuse. With that being said, having to suffer the atrocities of the physical, sexual and emotional abuse by your own parents is just unheard of and would have to affect her for the rest of her life. I was feeling better however, toward the end of the book when she seemed to find peace in her life and start to put her past behind her. However, I would think she would benefit from counseling for incest survivors.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Josephine (Jo)

    I only finished this books in the hope that it would turn out to be uplifting in the end, I did not find it to be so. Although Laila does improve her position I feel that it was left open for a follow up book, I will not be reading it however. The dreadful abuse of Laila from the age of 8 by her own father was heartrending but I was put off this book by the graphic descriptions and the coarse language used by the author. The abuse was just dreadful and watching Laila spiral into despair, depress I only finished this books in the hope that it would turn out to be uplifting in the end, I did not find it to be so. Although Laila does improve her position I feel that it was left open for a follow up book, I will not be reading it however. The dreadful abuse of Laila from the age of 8 by her own father was heartrending but I was put off this book by the graphic descriptions and the coarse language used by the author. The abuse was just dreadful and watching Laila spiral into despair, depression and drinking was quite bad enough without the having to read such personal and intimate details. The reader is able to use their imagination and does not need to have every last detail spelt out for them. It made me feel somewhat voyeuristic and even grubby, I feel that by publishing this that Laila is still being abused. I found the writing poor, at first I thought is may have been written by a young girl whose first language was not English but this was not the case it was just poorly written. I wish I had not wasted my time on it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Salmanda

    Sick relationship with a man who gets her pregnant and distorts her exaggerated lies into tremendous lies. Pity the family of this demented girl who is spireling down into the depths of despair with her lies to not only Brian Levene but also her family. This book is slanderous to everyone who is mentioned here including the studipity of Mr. Levene to believe them. I am from Pakistan and I know this girl from school and lived near her. She ran away to america for freedom from Pakistani tradition. Sick relationship with a man who gets her pregnant and distorts her exaggerated lies into tremendous lies. Pity the family of this demented girl who is spireling down into the depths of despair with her lies to not only Brian Levene but also her family. This book is slanderous to everyone who is mentioned here including the studipity of Mr. Levene to believe them. I am from Pakistan and I know this girl from school and lived near her. She ran away to america for freedom from Pakistani tradition. Her aunti says she ran with black married man with kids. This book of lies by not only her but her lover has destroy her ommi to the brink of death. Learn about drama from Pakistani ladies...we love it and you fell into it. Lies...too many Pakistani and Indian people lie and you fell into her lies believing that you have precious pakistani anon beauty but lies make everyone ugly who tell them.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andre Malcolm

    I thought this was a great book, with a heartbreaking story that will pull you in immediately. Very few books have made me experience such a variety of emotions like the ones I felt while reading this one. Leila's story is one that would touch anyone, and that anyone can enjoy. Though her situation saddened me at first, it was very empowering to see her get out of the struggle she was in. This story helps me to remember there is a bright light at the end of every tunnel. Though I don't usually r I thought this was a great book, with a heartbreaking story that will pull you in immediately. Very few books have made me experience such a variety of emotions like the ones I felt while reading this one. Leila's story is one that would touch anyone, and that anyone can enjoy. Though her situation saddened me at first, it was very empowering to see her get out of the struggle she was in. This story helps me to remember there is a bright light at the end of every tunnel. Though I don't usually read Kindle books, there was no paperback available at the time, but it was still worth it!! Thanks to my freind who recommended this great read!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Leigh Brand

    Wasn't sure what to expect but with all the reviews good and bad figured I read it. It really was a heartbreaking story as I have seen other reviewers say. It seems hard to believe that this would happen to someone for so long and I'm sure it is happening frequently and we just don't hear about it. This is a story worth telling and hopes that children around the world could be protected from abuse. Open up your eyes and see what children are enduring at the hands of their own parents. People tha Wasn't sure what to expect but with all the reviews good and bad figured I read it. It really was a heartbreaking story as I have seen other reviewers say. It seems hard to believe that this would happen to someone for so long and I'm sure it is happening frequently and we just don't hear about it. This is a story worth telling and hopes that children around the world could be protected from abuse. Open up your eyes and see what children are enduring at the hands of their own parents. People that don't like the book may not because they don't want to believe that these events are true but I know abuse and nothing surprises me anymore but some of this did. Wow!!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Gave up at 80% and had skimmed the last 20% of that amount. Unfortunately abuse can affect people in different ways and i can fully understand and believe Laila's personality. Scenes described felt very authentic in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan its just that it wasn't very well written at all and I just couldn't keep going with it. Should have had a lot of editing and sorting out before publishing especially as it was set at quite a high price initially. There was a lot of rambling and repetitivene Gave up at 80% and had skimmed the last 20% of that amount. Unfortunately abuse can affect people in different ways and i can fully understand and believe Laila's personality. Scenes described felt very authentic in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan its just that it wasn't very well written at all and I just couldn't keep going with it. Should have had a lot of editing and sorting out before publishing especially as it was set at quite a high price initially. There was a lot of rambling and repetitiveness which definitely didn't do it any favours. Sorry Anon just not to my liking although I wish you the very best for your future. You do deserve better.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cookie

    I received this book through First Reads. The story of Laila's abuse at the hands of those she trusted was heartbreaking. The love between two sisters added to the heartbreak as their pain was shared. My favorite aspect of this book was reading about a different culture. It was saddening to see that abuse occurs in all walks of life - not just America. I received this book through First Reads. The story of Laila's abuse at the hands of those she trusted was heartbreaking. The love between two sisters added to the heartbreak as their pain was shared. My favorite aspect of this book was reading about a different culture. It was saddening to see that abuse occurs in all walks of life - not just America.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I won this book thought first reads. Thanks for giving me the chance to read this book. This is defiantly a sad story. This book kept me wanting to read more to find out what happens. The first day I read over half of the book. This book is defiantly a keeper.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Saniya

    OMG!!! Even I am a Pakistani ^_^ so lyk D-U-H I am gonna read this book :)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mika

    My professor at SCSU recommended this book to me and I am so glad she did ! I was amazed at how much courage her and her sister had in this book ! I know how difficult it must’ve been to share your story ! I really enjoyed reading about how you were rescued by your Prince Charming ! My advice to everyone it is Very good read there will be some pills 💊 that are hard to swallow but it’s very REAL so be prepared !

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jeannette Modesto

    What to terrible thing to happen to someone.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Xene5679

    Not Easily Washed Away: Memoirs of a Muslim Daughter is available for download on Kindle or hardcopy. A book you wont put down, it keeps you intrigued. It's fast paced and an easy read. You'll be searching for more books by this author. His writing style is fluid. Brian Authur Levene's narrative weilds a story of one pakistanian girl's life in a culture cloaked in secrecy, feinged respectability and so-called honor. It depicts the reality of those who have no voice (notably women and children), wi Not Easily Washed Away: Memoirs of a Muslim Daughter is available for download on Kindle or hardcopy. A book you wont put down, it keeps you intrigued. It's fast paced and an easy read. You'll be searching for more books by this author. His writing style is fluid. Brian Authur Levene's narrative weilds a story of one pakistanian girl's life in a culture cloaked in secrecy, feinged respectability and so-called honor. It depicts the reality of those who have no voice (notably women and children), with an unquestionable faith(Islam)that determines their fate, yet undermines their intellect and true worth. This book is a must read, you'll be blown away. I'd recommend it to those who dare to venture from the norm.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Megan Staich

    There seems to be mix reviews on this book, I had to get it to see what everyone was talking about. I thought this book was great. This was a quick book to read. Read it 1/2 hr a night, before bed and was done in a week. It was heart wrenching to read what Laila had to go through for so long. It is sad to see how women and children are treated in other cultures, though I do know that stuff like this happens in the U.S. also. I hope Laila continues to seek help and I hope this book can be helpful a There seems to be mix reviews on this book, I had to get it to see what everyone was talking about. I thought this book was great. This was a quick book to read. Read it 1/2 hr a night, before bed and was done in a week. It was heart wrenching to read what Laila had to go through for so long. It is sad to see how women and children are treated in other cultures, though I do know that stuff like this happens in the U.S. also. I hope Laila continues to seek help and I hope this book can be helpful and eye opening for others. I hope others in a similar situation will not be afraid to ask for help, there is help out there for victims.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Willow Redd

    Received this as a Goodreads First Read Giveaway. This is a completely devastating true story of a young Muslim girl and her horrible mistreatment by her despicable, incestuous father. For years she suffered at his hands. Reading about how she blamed herself for his horrible deeds, was confused when she actually got physically aroused by his treatment of her, and thinking she could never tell her family due to the stories of other women who told about being raped by family and completely ostraciz Received this as a Goodreads First Read Giveaway. This is a completely devastating true story of a young Muslim girl and her horrible mistreatment by her despicable, incestuous father. For years she suffered at his hands. Reading about how she blamed herself for his horrible deeds, was confused when she actually got physically aroused by his treatment of her, and thinking she could never tell her family due to the stories of other women who told about being raped by family and completely ostracized. If you want to see a first hand example of what emotional and physical tolls abuse can have on a person, read this book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    Won Not Easily Washed Away: Memoirs Of A Muslim's Daughter by Brian Arthur Levene as a first reads giveaway. The subject matter of abuse is always difficult to read and I'm happy that Anon was able to survive and overcome the challenges she faced. It was also interesting to learn about different cultures and religions. I read it fairly quickly as I had a hard time putting it down. Won Not Easily Washed Away: Memoirs Of A Muslim's Daughter by Brian Arthur Levene as a first reads giveaway. The subject matter of abuse is always difficult to read and I'm happy that Anon was able to survive and overcome the challenges she faced. It was also interesting to learn about different cultures and religions. I read it fairly quickly as I had a hard time putting it down.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Crystal M

    This review is hard because the topic of the book is very sensitive and because the book is about actual people. The writer of the book says that she wants to show how the victim of sexual abuse thinks and feels and I think that she does a good job of that. I will say that the matter of fact way she describes beatings can be jarring.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nyssette Marie Selva Negrón

    I liked this book, though sometimes I wished I could smack her

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