Today’s author is Nadia Hashimi. Nadia has twice been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2014 and 2015. Read on to find out more.
The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi
In Kabul, 2007, with a drug-addicted father and no brothers, Rahima and her sisters can only sporadically attend school, and can rarely leave the house. Their only hope lies in the ancient custom of bacha posh, which allows young Rahima to dress and be treated as a boy until she is of marriageable age.
But Rahima is not the first in her family to adopt this unusual custom. A century earlier, her great-aunt, Shekiba, left orphaned by an epidemic, saved herself and built a new life the same way.
Crisscrossing in time, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell interweaves the tales of these two women.
Ann Girdharry’s View
The two girls in this story lived generations apart but they share similar experiences - the experience of a terrifying marriage as a child bride, the abuse of their family-in-laws, the punishing attitude of their husbands, and their lowly status as women in a society that values men.
We see how precious their links are with other women and how Shekiba and Rahima can be made or broken by them.
There are a few brighter moments and there is much hardship and tragedy. We gain an insight into Afghanistan and I found my interest caught by all the details of everyday life.
This is an uncomfortable tale and I liked it because it was out of the mould of many books. So, if you’re looking for something a little different, this is definitely for you.
I felt both Shekiba and Rahima were incredibly strong young women. The story left me with a lot think about, especially the similarities and differences in women’s lives across the globe and the power of inner strength.
Photoshot of Nadia Hashimi
Five Things You Didn’t Know about Nadia Hashimi -
1. I think I was in middle school when I read Flowers in the Attic (V.C. Andrews). I’m sure my parents would cringe to know that I was in middle school when I dug into a novel about caged siblings drifting toward incest. I was a voracious reader and tore through anything I could find. Though it may not have been the most age-appropriate selection, I’m thankful my parents didn’t police my choices. Reading has been my only preparation for writing and Andrews and so many authors have surely influenced my story-telling in some way.
2. I hate mushrooms. This may be a strange thing for a mostly-vegetarian (I do eat fish) to say but mushrooms are fungus. I refuse to ingest things called tree ears or be fooled by fancy names like Portobello.
3. I do a lot of writing in coffee shops for three reasons. One: Coffee. Two: I get to people watch which is absolutely essential to my writing. You never know when you may eavesdrop on a juicy conversation. Three: Coffee. (Or did I mention that already?)
4. Writing is my way of channelling outrage. Hearing about the hard choices families in war-torn countries have to make for their children, reading about young girls who are given as “brides” to men three times their age, learning about corruption at all levels of society, I am outraged. I used to share articles with friends so that they could share my outrage. I’d also yell at the television which is heartbreakingly ineffective. Since people tell me that my stories enlighten, inspire and educate, I think it’s far more productive than what I was doing before.
5. I’ve travelled to more than 25 countries around the world. In my grandfather’s words, travel matures a person. I’d like to think those early trips to India humbled and informed me about the harsh lives so many people lead. It is a beautiful country with a vibrant culture and posh tourist spots but because we were visiting family who had fled to India as refugees, we stayed in areas where poverty was quite evident. I’m hoping to open my children’s eyes once they’re a little bit older. I think they’ll be better global citizens if they get a taste of the world’s diversity and a view of how income disparities play out in real life.
Thank you for talking to us today, Nadia.
You can check out about Nadia and find out more about her books here - http://nadiahashimi.com
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