Salma El-Wardany: These Impossible Things

This review is written with thanks to Pigeonhole for the opportunity to read and review These Impossible Things.


They recognized that they were all existing in a perfect moment, and eventually it would have to end. Other times it felt like it would always be this way.

These Impossible Things charts the dreams and disappointments of a group of British Muslim women; Jenna, Kees and Malak. They have been friends for years: the three of them together against the world.

Yet one night changes everything between them and they are left adrift, marooned from each other as their lives take different paths. Without the support of each other, nothing seems to go quite right and in the wake of heartbreaks, marriages, new careers and new beginnings, they need each other more than ever. Will they be able to forgive each other in time?


I must admit that it did take me a while to get into These Impossible Things – it’s not as fast paced as the books I am used to, and there are fewer laugh out loud moments than in books with similar themes that I have read recently. However, El-Wardany is a beautiful writer and I did eventually fall under her spell. 

These Impossible Things focuses on Malak, Bilquis (Kees) and Jenna. It did take some time to get to grips with who was who, but ultimately I love the friendship between these characters. They are all very different, but their connection is very strong and El-Wardany portrays this so well. I also love learning about other cultures and traditions and these are a central theme in this novel.

Through These Impossible Things, El-Wardany looks at several issues. Some of these issues are traumatic so it won’t be for everyone, but they are handled in such an emotive and sensitive way and this book definitely raises questions about the issues it explores. 

These Impossible Things is available from Amazon.

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