Review: Shamim Sarif – I Can’t Think Straight

I Can’t Think Straight
Shamim Sarif
Layla and Tala have nothing in common, except that neither woman knows what to do with her sexuality. In exploring each other, they find themselves alienating everyone else, especially their families.
This is a culture that I am not familiar with. There are certain communities and religions that do not accept homosexual behaviour, and an insight into it like this novel is valuable under any circumstances.
I can’t say that this was my most favourite book to read. I felt even like I was rereading a story I had seen before, and that I wasn’t getting much new out of it. I didn’t empathise with the protagonists, so that was where I was let down.
As it’s a queer novel, I can’t completely discount that it might be useful to someone else. I would suggest that people in a similar situation would benefit from the hindsight and limited retrospection of this novel to be able to take a step back.
Did I enjoy the novel? Well, yes, in a manner of speaking. The text itself wasn’t bad, it was all me – I couldn’t ‘get’ the characters in an intimate enough way to connect with this novel.
One final note, I find it hard to believe that they are soul mates. How do people know that? If you’re able to move on, talk to other lesbians, then maybe you weren’t meant to be in such a volatile environment when friends have to set you up!
This is a movie – which I haven’t seen, and I’m not sure I will aim to, unless it accidentally crosses my path.

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