Afia Satar is just another college student, studying hard on a New England campus and dreaming big dreams about becoming a doctor to help the poor village women in her native Pakistan. When she falls in love, she forgets that she is not just any other college co-ed, but a Pashtun girl from a village where the family’s reputation is tightly linked to the daughter’s purity. An innocent picture of her clasping hands with a boy on her college’s website catalyzes her jihadi step-brother to insist Shahid, her older brother who’s also in New England, remove the stain on the family’s honor. Honor is the heartbeat of this novel as the Satar family grapples with their responsibilities and expectations. The Americans—especially Shahid’s squash coach Lissy Hayes—have different ideas of honor. Tribal ties clash with individualism, as Afia and Shahid struggle to find the right path. Both are aware this may not end well. Afia and Shahid’s painful struggle is intricately crafted, and the cultural nuances are evocatively depicted in this thought-proving novel. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/26/2015 Release date: 01/01/2015 Genre: Fiction
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