Title: Written in the Stars
Author: Aisha Saeed // Twitter
Pub: March 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Naila’s conservative immigrant parents have always told her – she could do whatever she wishes, but leave your marriage decisions to us. Any sort of romantic relationship is strictly forbidden. However, Naila breaks their one rule and falls in love with Saif. Her parents are livid and thrust their family into an impromptu trip to Pakistan to reconnect with relatives and their cultural roots.
Unbeknownst to Naila, this trip takes a turn when her parents have found her a husband and wants her married now!
It’s a short book, but it’s powerful. It’s a sad, poignant, and telling. It’s even more harrowing because this happens to young girls every day.
The issue at large is forced marriages (not necessarily arranged marriages – that’s a totally different thing). Naila is married off without her knowledge or consent. Much of the book follows the trauma surrounding her forced marriage.
It feels odd to say that I liked this book, considering what it’s about, but I did. Particularly because it was a quick-read. The writing style was simplistic in the sense that it allowed the reader to become immediately invested in the story.
Naila is carefully crafted and her family, culture, and surroundings are introduced with care (with no demeaning aspects).
Again, I was really taken in by the power of the prose, the description of the settings and culture, and how aware I was by how Naila was feeling. I worried, felt scared, and even cried right along with her.
I look forward to reading more of Saeed’s work.
Reader’s direction is advised for – domestic & familial abuse, sexual assault/rape
Affiliate Link: Book Depository