Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell: a Novel

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell: a Novel
By Nadia Hashimi
William Morrow, 2014. 452 pgs. Fiction

Set in Afghanistan, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell interweaves the stories of two women. Rahima, the youngest of five daughters of an opium addicted father in present day Kabul, follows the ancient custom "bacha posh" and dresses as a boy so her family can have a male representative to do shopping and other errands since the father in the family is often away or incapacitated by opium. She finds courage for her role as she learns from her aunt about her great-grandmother, Shekiba, who was a "bacha posh" and acted as a guard in the king’s harem 100 years before. When Rahima is forced to become the fourth wife of a local warlord, she struggles to endure the brutal conditions of her marriage just as her great-grandmother endured injustice and cruelty a century earlier. Like A Thousand Splendid Suns, this tragic novel devastates the reader but also offers hope for the future through the incomparable courage and strength of the characters.SH

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