The Pearl That Broke Its Shell
By Nadia Hashimi
Hello readers!!! I am taking a break from reading my new Stephen King book Revival to write this post. I am 3/4 of the way through it and it is absolutely great!! Old school Stephen King!! I will be posting on it soon. Now a glimpse of what it is like to be a young woman growing up in Kabul.
This book was released in 2015 by William and Morrow Publishers. It is 480 pages long. It is Nadia Hashimi’s debut novel.
In Kabul, 2007, with a drug-addicted father and no brothers, Rahima and her sisters can only sporadically attend school, and can rarely leave the house. Their only hope lies in the ancient custom of bacha posh, which allows young Rahima to dress and be treated as a boy until she is of marriageable age. As a son, she can attend school, go to the market, and chaperone her older sisters.
But Rahima is not the first in her family to adopt this unusual custom. A century earlier, her great-aunt, Shekiba, left orphaned by an epidemic, saved herself and built a new life the same way.
Crisscrossing in time, The Pearl the Broke Its Shell interweaves the tales of these two women separated by a century who share similar destinies. But what will happen once Rahima is of marriageable age? Will Shekiba always live as a man? And if Rahima cannot adapt to life as a bride, how will she survive?
This is an incredible book wich parallels the life of two remarkable Afghani girls. One in the past and one in the present. It is an artfully told tale of the lives and difficulties of women and their treatment in Afghanistan. It is clear by this book that it is a better life and easier to be a boy than a girl. While improvements have come about over the years Rahima’s life is still not an easy one and carries its own set of problems and hardships. It is no picnic to be a woman in the middle east with no rights. It is difficult to remember that this is still going on in the present day world!! This is an interesting addition to the Middle East fiction that is out there today. It adds a new voice to the sad tales that already exist.I found this to be well written and executed and the story traveled seamlessly back and forth from the present to the past. I hope that we can look forward to more novels from this writer!! What a great debut!! I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.