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