Review: Rekiya & Z by Muti’ah Badruddeen

Muti’ah proves her worth to the world with this excellent story.

Cover image of Rekiya & Z by Muti’ah Badrudeen

Muti’ah Badruddeen delivers a beautiful tale of the reunion of two women whose bond of faith and friendship is threatened by an unresolved trauma.

Written in the alternating perspective of past and present and from the points of view of Rekiya Gbadamosi, the product of an inter-tribal and inter-religious secret marriage; the unacknowledged daughter of one of the richest businessmen in the country and Zaynunah Sanusi, the modest daughter from a typical islamic home. Rekiya and Z tells the story of two women who met as high school teenagers under accidental circumstances, having no idea just how deep the roots of this friendship will grow and how it might be the one last anchor for each of the two friends in their later years.

Rekiya and Zaynunah bond as close as friends and as a family through their teenage years until Rekiya leaves the country and after several years, returns with a load of experiences and trauma over her like a burden.

The women meet again as strangers trying to connect and relive the beautiful past of their friendship now lost beneath years of estrangement, loss and trauma. 

The author describes places in vivid colours and imageries. She paints brilliant pictures of places, cultures and lifestyles from Ibadan, Nigeria to Houston, Texas to the House of Allah in Makkah, Saudi Arabia in ways that unfold brilliantly in one’s mind.

The book is divided into two parts, with the first part following Rekiya’s journey to coming to terms with her trauma and the second part narrating her ordeals as she goes in search of healing. Even though the first part seems to hold more in terms of intrigue, it is a book worthy of being read to the very end.

Muti’ah’s excellent characters and plotting capture the complexity and beauty of friendship, family, the difficulty of coming to terms with trauma, and the healing that comes with love and faith. In this novel, she manages to make an interesting blend of Loss, Faith, Therapy, Friendship, Career, Family, Motherhood, Trauma and Nostalgia. A beautiful tale of loss and friendship and reunion and healing. 

Muti’ah proves her worth to the world with this excellent story.