The pearl that broke its shell by Nadia Hashimi
Found on the Adult Fiction shelves at HASHIMI
Plot Summary : A luminous and unforgettable tale of two women, destiny, and identity in Afghanistan
Kabul, 2007: The Taliban rules the streets. With a drug-addicted father and no brothers, Rahima and her sisters can rarely leave the house or attend school. Their only hope lies in the ancient Afghan custom of bacha posh, which allows young Rahima to dress and be treated as a son until she is of marriageable age. As a boy, she has the kind of freedom that was previously unimaginable . . . freedom that will transform her forever.
But Rahima is not the first in her family to adopt this unusual custom. A century earlier, her great-great-grandmother Shekiba, left orphaned by an epidemic, saved herself and built a new life in the same way-the change took her on a journey from the deprivation of life in a rural village to the opulence of a king’s palace in the bustling metropolis of Kabul.
Crisscrossing in time, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell interweaves the stories of these two remarkable women who are separated by a century but share the same courage and dreams. What will happen once Rahima is old enough to marry? How long can Shekiba pass as a man and if Rahima cannot adapt to life as a bride, how will she survive? (Source: Harper Collins Publishers Australia)
Review : Something very different from what I usually read but absolutely loved it. It was Nadia Hashimi’s literary debut novel in 2014 and it was very powerful and fascinating to read. Hashimi has had three more books published, so lots of books to follow, if you enjoy this story.
Reviewed by : Carolyn
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Found on the Adult Fiction shelves at HOSSEINI
Plot Summary : Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father, Saboor, and stepmother in the village of Shadbagh. Work is in short supply and they struggle through poverty and brutal winters. To Abdullah, Pari is everything: more like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her. At night they sleep together in their cot, their limbs tangled.
One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father, having no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand.
Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways that we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history, and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us. (Source : Fantastic Fiction)
Review : I really enjoyed this book as Hosseini’s writing style is elegant and beautiful. He brings beauty to a country that has been consumed by war and violence for so many years and I learn a little more about the culture every time.
Reviewed by : Carolyn