A Tender Struggle (Paperback)

Story of a Marriage

By Krista Bremer

Algonquin Books, 9781616204495, 304pp.

Publication Date: March 31, 2015

List Price: 15.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


"A story about love, marriage, compromise, parenthood and the difference between the life one imagined and reality."*

Fifteen years ago, Krista Bremer, a California-bred feminist, surfer, and aspiring journalist, met Ismail Suayah, sincere, passionate, kind, yet from a very different world. One of eight siblings born in an impoverished fishing village in Libya, Ismail was raised a Muslim--and his faith informed his life. When Krista and Ismail made the decision to become a family, she embarked on a journey she never could have imagined, an accidental jihad: a quest for spiritual and intellectual growth that would open her mind and, more important, her heart.

"A bold piece of writing (and thinking) by an incredibly brave woman." --Elizabeth Gilbert, author of The Signature of All Things

"A moving, lyrical memoir."--Kirkus Reviews

"Candid and rich." --Good Housekeeping

"Unrelenting candor and gorgeous prose." --BookPage

"Krista Bremer has a very good story." --The New York Times Book Review

"A beautiful account of Krista's] jihad, or struggle, to find peace within herself and within her marriage." --The Kansas City Star

"Lucid, heartfelt, and profoundly humane . . . Navigates the boundaries of religion and politics to arrive at the universal experience of love." --G. Willow Wilson, author of Alif the Unseen

"This is a memoir worth reading." --*Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

  1. How does Krista Bremer’s definition of jihad differ from its common usage in the media—and what does jihad have to do with her love story?generic viagra price canada
  2. How does Bremer’s understanding of the hijab (head covering) change when she is in Libya? What benefits and drawbacks does she discover in modest Muslim clothing—and what benefits and drawbacks does she identify from the physical exposure she experienced growing up in Southern California?generic viagra price canada
  3. When she first arrives in Libya, Bremer pities her female Muslim relatives—but she is surprised to discover that they pity her as well. Which aspects of her Western life might they pity, and how does her time in Libya make her rethink notions of freedom and oppression?generic viagra price canada
  4. How does Bremer’s understanding of feminism and surrender change over the course of the book? Is surrender at odds with feminism? Is surrender synonymous with defeat?generic viagra price canada
  5. In what ways does Bremer’s marriage change her opinions about diversity and tolerance?generic viagra price canada
  6. Bremer encounters a dying grandmother during a family gathering in Libya. How does this woman’s experience differ from aging and dying in the United States? What benefits and drawbacks can you identify in her experience?generic viagra price canada
  7. What are specific examples of Islamophobia in the book? What does Bremer’s experience convey about intolerance and the perception of otherness in the west?generic viagra price canada
  8. In many ways, this book is about the search for home. What does Bremer convey about home in the final chapter—and do you agree with her definition?generic viagra price canada
  9. Would you call this a strong marriage? Why or why not?generic viagra price canada
  10. Do you agree or disagree with Bremer’s assertion that every relationship is bicultural? Which aspects of her struggle are particular to her marriage, and which aspects are universal?generic viagra price canada