Mar 22, 2010

Book Review/Tour: The Writing on My Forehead by Nafisa Haji

The Writing on My Forehead by Nafisa Haji is an excellent novel about family ties and a woman's role in a traditional culture.null

The novel reads like a memoir but is actually a fictional account of a girl growing up in the United States who must also conform to the Indo-Pakistani traditions of her immigrant parents.

My comments: I was struck by the universal themes of family life and family ties in this novel, the almost common kinds of problems faced by children and parents in the nuclear and the extended family. There is jealousy and rivalry as well as affection between sisters, and secrets that keep family members together and apart. In this case, the family of Saira Qader extends from the U.S. to India, to Pakistan, and to London, all of which she visits at different times to meet with various family members.

What is unique about the novel and the story is how Saira rejects as well as conforms to her own family and cultural traditions, with conflicts and victories in love and loyalty. I highly recommend this book for its look at a modern Western woman who also belongs to a rich but challenging traditional culture. Haji is a gifted writer whose characters are engaging and whose storytelling is truly compelling.

This review is part of a virtual book tour hosted by TLC Book Tours. Visit them for a list of other stops on the tour. A copy of the book was provided free for my objective review.

Challenges: 100 + Reading Challenge, Book Review Party Wednesday
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  1. I'm totally drawn to this story!! thanks for a great review and I'm putting this one on my list!

  2. I'm reading this book right now - my tour date is Thursday (Yikes!). Anyway, I'm really liking this book and hoping to help spread the word about it. Glad to see you liked it, too.

  3. Interesting that it read like a memoir! I think that's a good thing. :)

    I also think it's interesting that Saira both rejects and connects to her family and cultural traditions. There's always that push and pull in any family, but more so in a family (such as an immigrant family) where traditions can be quite important.

    Thanks for being on this tour! Love your review!

  4. Nice review!! I'm totally interested to read this one!!

  5. I'm glad you enjoyed this book as well. I loved reading everyone's thoughts. Great review.

  6. This sounds like a book I'd really enjoy.
    Thanks for your great review. :)

  7. Gwendolyn: I couldn't find our review!m Are you still planning on it?

    Staci, Diane, Aths, Staci - glad you enjoyed the review!

    Trish - thanks for your great comments!

  8. I really liked this book - I enjoyed reading your thoughts! Thanks for the review.


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