Sweetness in the Belly is a novel written by Camilla Gibb. It was published in 2005 and was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Camilla Gibb lives in Canada and has written a few books that have been well received internationally. She has a doctorate in anthropology from Oxford University.
Sweetness in the Belly is similar to other books that deal with Islam and the many small nuances of life in that kind of atmosphere. The details that create the highly emotional environment that is easy to empathize with the characters though their situation may be completely alien to the reader’s own.
The protagonist’s name is Lilly. Her parents were hippies who lived in Great Britain, but they were murdered when Lilly was young. As a result, she is raised in Morocco, in a Sufi shrine. When she becomes an adult, she moves to Ethiopia where she teaches the Qur’an and things about Islam to her young students. However, even though she wears the traditional garb of a Muslim woman and she knows the same things as a Muslim woman, she is still a foreigner. And when she has to flee back to England, she still doesn’t fit in there either. The novel works with the ideas of identity, individuality, and one’s place in society.