I believe there was something mentioned about the author on the old board, as I recall mentioning this book in passing there. Although the book was a good read, I had felt disappointed by the end of it, simply because I'd been looking for something which had more of a spiritual element to it, as that's what I'd been searching for at that time.
There is a book 'Sweetness in the belly' by Camilla Gibb which I absolutely love and that definitely gave more of a spiritual feel to the novel. There is a lot of stuff in there which you know isn't mainstream Islam and heck, I don't know how much of a true representation it really is about how Islam is practised in Ethiopia, but the author herself has actually mentioned at the end of the book that she has exaggerated certain things, so I'm kind of assuming that certain practices may not be practised as much as she's protrayed in the novel or they may not even exist at all. I was really drawn in to this novel, so much so that I actually felt incredibly let down by the main character by the end of it. To experience that as strongly as I did I feel is a real testament to how good the book is.