Editor's Rating

The Pearl that broke its shell is a beautifully written and imaginative novel. The character sketch is wonderful and the hardship in the life of women across two different times is vividly expressed which is both haunting and poignant. The writing style is lyrical and will stay with you long time after the book is over. Highly recommended

8.5
Story
9
Character development
9.5
Writing Style

The Pearl that broke its shell - Book Review

  • The Pearl That Broke Its Shell
  • Publisher: William Morrow (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062244752

I love reading. At any point in time, I have multiple books at my desk, kindle, laptop, mobile and what not. I love the weekends especially when you can just lie around lazily with a book and don’t think about Anything else. So, here is another series for a book review every weekend and hopefully it will give you good books to read. I also recommend 6 books every month for the avid readers. So please check those out the bottom of the post in case you need a good list of book. So enough chit chat and lets get started with Business.

So, I never heard about this book before, but browsing through good reads, I stumbled upon this one. I thought, why not try this one? So, after buying the book, I kept it for this weekend to indulge in. Afghan-American Nadia Hashimi’s literary debut novel, The Pearl that Broke Its Shell has cultural flavors that will remind you of the works of Khaled Huseini and Lisa See. The Book merges past and present with the story of two Afghan Woman: Rahima, a woman living in current Afghanistan after the War and rebuilding efforts and her Grandmother, living at the start of 20th century at the brink of modernization. The Book seamlessly and beautifully interweaves the stories of these two remarkable women sharing the same courage and dreams, but separated by a century. The Story tackles some really serious issues. Rahima is a daughter born to a family in a culture where lack of sons is seen as  a social stigma. The father of the family is addicted to opium and hardly works. With no Male member, the family’s situation is desperate. It was then that Rahima’s aunt advises her mother of an old tradition – Bacha Posh. This allows Rahima to be dressed and treated like a boy until she is 13. She becomes Rahim and allowed to go to school, work and play and has all types of freedom not available to girls. But then when she is 13, after a fight between her parents, she is married off as her father gets free opium

He wants this, I realized. My father wants to marry us off.

The thought sent a chill down my spine. I realized what my mother knew as well. Men could do what they wanted with women.

After all the freedom she had  experienced as a boy, the life suddenly changes when she is a Woman. Rahima finds it extremely difficult to live as a subservient fourth wife to a old warlord who doesn’t care about any of his wives. How will she manage her life as a bride in these difficult times? Her aunt helps her out and tells her that she was not the first one in her family to follow this tradition of bacha posh. Her grandmother Sheiba did the same generations ago. Its heartbreaking to see how little has changed in the role of women between the generations of these characters. Through criss-crossing in time, we can feel what it is like to be a women in such a society where sole purpose of women is to bear sons.We also experience the dreadful injustices suffered by women then and Now.  Nadia’s writing feels like a flawless poetry and  shifts between the times flawlessly. This is one book which will stay with you a long time after you have finished it. Highly recommended.

Buy the Book From Amazon here

Other Good Books to Read:

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