A Second Look

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AUTHOR     :Hannah Matus

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Caught in a struggle to navigate the often-conflicting demands of faith, career, and relationships, Elizza BenTaleb is a young Muslim woman in her final semester obtaining MBA. While dreaming to open up a clean energy business to help people in Libya on the one hand, she is trying to mother her four sisters, each divergent in their own ways – from uber-conservative to Insta-famous Hijabi – on the other.


Elizza’s life takes a complicated turn when a successful Libyan businessman, Firas Tarseen, is hired for a semester to give lectures at the university. Elizza has some less than genial encounters with the fellow, but can’t seem to avoid bumping into him everywhere. Can they overlook their first impressions of each other to realize that they may have more in common than they know?

Hannah Matus

Hannah Matus, Esq. is a licensed attorney in the state of Ohio and a mother of three. Holding an MA degree in English in addition to her J.D., Matus’ most pleasurable hobbies are reading and writing. A Second Look is her debut novel.

Publication date






6 x 9 inches




This book is a GEM!!! Truly brilliant debut by @asecondlookbook and published by @tughrabooks
I loved everything about this book!!! The wit, the commentary, the true to Elizabeth Bennet personality (this is a Pride and Prejudice Retelling), the hilarious fumbled proposal, the adorable relationship between the five daughters of AbulBanaat (BRILLIANT), the Libyan rep (yesssss I am so happy for more diverse muslim representation and this is the first North African halal love story I have read), the Muslimness of it all- its truly worth a purchase!!!



One of the best things about being part of the #MuslimBookstagramAwards is having the opportunity to stumble across hidden gems like this book: “A Second Book” by Hannah Matus, published by @tughrabooks.Now I’ll be honest: I absolutely judge books by their covers… & their titles. This book looked like yet another painful self-published book that would be torturous to get through. The cover is honestly utterly unappealing, & the title is vague & discouraging. I’d even thought it was a non-fiction self-help book – another strike.

But I got around to glancing at the back blurb, cracked the book open… & found myself utterly absorbed in a Muslim, Libyan retelling of Pride & Prejudice!!!!

I haven’t finished a novel in a single day in ages – yet that’s exactly what I did yesterday, plowing through this with eagerness, excitement, & my kid telling me to stop “making weird noises, you sound crazy.”

Elizza BenTaleb, her four sisters, her parents (nicknamed Umm al-Banaat and Abu’l Banaat!), Firas Tarseen, Muhammad BenAli, cousin Kamaal, Hajjah Khadijah… this cast of Muslimified Pride & Prejudice characters made me laugh out loud, repeatedly.

The best thing about this retelling is that it neither tries too hard to copy the original, or stray too far: instead, the author seamlessly weaves together Muslim social commentary, lessons on Islamic spirituality, hilarious witticisms, & a story that reads truly authentic #MuslimRepresentation. The ONLY thing this book needs is a tiiiiiiinyy bit of editing & character development – but honestly, the story itself is PERFECT.

I’m still emotional at how amazing this book is!!!! Tughra, this book needs a new cover & title, pronto! The current ones are doing this gem an absolute disservice. Also: it should be made clear from the beginning that this is a P&P retelling – it took me a couple pages to realize it.

EVERY P&P fan needs to read this!!!!! Immediately!!!! Also, 100% halal!!!! I love this book so much!!!!!