‘I am their daughter. They are me. I am my Baba’s stubborn back bone and his great brows. I am my mum’s resilience and wide birthing hips. I am their profanity, their nerves, I am their traditions, their hang ups, their loss, their tears. I am their human, their child, their daughter.’
Born to parents who emigrated from Bangladesh to Britain, Nadiya Hussain’s first roles were those of daughter and sister. Considering her later identities as a devout Muslim entering an arranged marriage and becoming a wife and mother herself, Nadiya questions the barriers that many women, no matter who they are or where they live, have to cross in order to be accepted or heard. Importantly, she shows us how, at the core of it all, we are essentially tackling the same issues throughout our lives despite our cultural, social and religious differences.
Each chapter deals with a different aspect of herself, and Nadiya writes with warmth, humour, honesty and deep emotion about what each one means to her and how she embodies all the different expectations of these parts of her life. Writing about growing up in a large family who were culturally torn between two countries, to her thoughts on becoming a celebrity after winning The Great British Bake Off, the later chapters cover her more recent roles of ‘baker’, ‘Twitter handle’ and ‘TV presenter’.