Sorry, it’s been a while since I last fictioned on a Friday. Best laid plans and all that….
So without further ado
Last Week I Was Mostly Reading
I am at a bit of a loss as to where to pitch this one.
Set in Pakistan, it is the story of a wealthy, beautiful, educated young woman, Zarri-Bano, who turns down suitor after suitor, until she meets her match, and the man of her dreams. So far so predictable. When family tragedy strikes Zarri-Bano is forced by a sense of duty to obey her fathers wishes and become a Holy Woman, in essence becoming married to the Koran, adopting the Burqa and immersing herself in the teachings and laws of Islam.
What is interesting is that a book that starts off as pro-feminism, pro-Westernization, then shows how religious devotion, familial duty and tradition can be as fulfilling to an individual as chasing after one’s own dreams and ambitions.
The portrayal of the Pakistan countryside, the bustle of the cities, the contrast between “sophisticated” wealthy city dwellers and traditional, patriarchal villagers – it’s all beautifully and evocatively done.
The Cinderella conclusion? A bit of a let down
But an engaging, page-turning story nonetheless. Definitely recommended!
Next Week I Shall Mostly Be Reading