Tuesday, March 26, 2019

A Place for Us by Fatima Mirza - Book Review

Time for another - way longer than intended - I should probably change the name of this thing I do, but I am also committed to the project. help. #60secondbookreview of "A Place for Us" by Fatima Farheen Mirza - a book that felt like being wrapped up in a warm blanket - so cozy.

This debut novel ( which holy moly how is this her first novel!?) follows an Indian American Muslim family, and when the book begins it is set at the wedding of the eldest daughter, Hadia. Hadia has decided to invite her brother, Amar, even though he has been estranged from the family for the last three years.

Through the next 400 plus pages, you get a very close look at the interpersonal relationships of this family : how the parents met, how the siblings interact with each other, and also their individual lives, how the parents interact with the children - and after all of that, you get a very good sense of why Amar is estranged from his family.

I really enjoyed reading this book, and I think one of the reasons it works so well is the author's ability to make you feel like you are a part of this family - by the end of the novel you know all of their in's and out's - and because of that it is also does an excellent job of exploring identity. How family and religion can aide but also complicate that process. One you think you've found that, once you feel like you know yourself, your families fight against that image can be a misguided attempt at showing their love, but it can also be one of the most harmful things you experience. 

I did struggle a bit to get into this book, it's a common criticism of the book, so it's nice not to feel alone in that - the hurdle for me was that the book jumps around quite a bit in the timeline of this family, and also between different characters. But, once I was all in, I was all in, and also really want this book to be adapted to film, really rooting for this to happen!

Have you read "A Place for Us"?! What was your reading experience with this novel? Comment down below and let's chat about it!


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