The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters reviewed by Annie

I was not aware of Nadiya Hussain from her win on The Great British Bake Off. She can obviously cook, but she can spin a good yarn as well. The Amir sisters with all of their different personalities and quirks do indeed have secrets, as do other members of the family. In a charming story they are all revealed.

The Amir’s come from Bangladesh but are now living in England, trying to fit in while maintaining their culture and traditions. Eldest daughter Fatima, is still living at home. She is overweight and I cringed when they shortened her name to Fatti or Fats. The identical twins are living very different lives – Farrah married and desperately wanting but unable to have children, and feisty Bubblee has run away to London to pursue her artistic career. Baby of the family, Mae, is still at school and captures her family’s lives on film. The apple of their parents’ eyes is son Jay, the one they thought could protect them all, but he is not around until all hell breaks loose.

When Farrah’s husband is in a car accident and ends up in a coma, the unravelling of the skeletons in the closet begins.

This enchanting novel covers the keeping of secrets, betrayal, the effects of social media, race, religion, and discrimination. It is ultimately about family, where at times ‘some of us are less alone than others’, but when they are forced to respect the various choices they make for themselves, they find they can connect more then they believe they can, and find greater happiness.


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