Sparks Like Stars

Nadia Hashimi. Morrow, $27.99 (464p) ISBN 978-0-06-300828-1
A woman grapples with traumatic memories of the 1978 Afghanistan coup in Hashimi’s intimate if lackluster latest (after A House Without Windows). Precocious Sitara Zalmani, 10, spends her days in Kabul’s presidential palace, where her father is an adviser to the president. During the coup, Sitara’s family is murdered in front of her before a palace guard, Shair Nabi, whisks her to safety and foists her off on Antonia Shephard, an American embassy worker. Antonia, along with her mother, hatches a plan to use Sitara’s American-born, deceased sister’s birth certificate to bring her to the U.S. But things fall apart at customs, and Sitara winds up in a foster home. By 2008, Sitara, now Aryana, is an oncological surgeon in New York City and has reunited with Antonia. Her boyfriend, Adam, doesn’t know her full history and tries to tap her for help with fund-raising for his political career just as Shair unexpectedly shows up as a patient. With her relationship deteriorating and Shair’s reappearance bringing memories to the surface, Aryana returns to Afghanistan with Antonia in an attempt to find some peace. While Hashimi rushes through Aryana’s intervening years in the U.S., and the plot is fairly predictable, she does a good job developing Aryana’s character. Still, this one fails to leave a mark. Agent: Helen Heller, the Helen Heller Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 12/18/2020
Release date: 03/02/2021
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 464 pages - 978-0-06-300830-4
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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