The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashim
Multi-cultural literature is one of my favorite book genres. I love to be transported into the lives of fascinating characters living in exotic locations. I recently read a review of Nadia Hashim’s book The Pearl that Broke Its Shell that peaked my interest. It sounded familiar to Khaled Hosseini’s best selling books such as The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and most recently And the Mountains Echoed that I enjoyed so much.
The Pearl that Broke It’s Shell is the story of a young girl, Rahima, living in Afghanistan in 2007. Unlike boys in Afghanistan, who can attend school and have more freedom, Rahima and her sisters are often kept out of school and spend most of their hours confined to their home. Without a son in the family, and a sick father, the mother struggles to get basic food supplies. Rahima’s Aunt shares an old tradition “bacha pos” where young girls can dress and be treated as a son until their time of marriage. She tells them the story of their great Aunt Shekiba who experienced the “bacha pos” a century previously.
The story intertwines the lives of the two women, Rahima and Shekiba, in alternating chapters. It is Nadia Hashim’s first novel and so far it’s been a wonderful story. It’s very interesting to learn more of the treatment of women in Afghanistan. The Pearl That Broke Its Shell is geared for adults, but would be appreciated by high school students interested in multi-cultural books.
I promise to keep you posted after I finish it.
Do you have any favorite multi-cultural books to recommend to our Walden family?