The Family Tree is Sairish Hussain‘s debut novel that follows the life of a British Pakistani family settled in Bradford, UK. The story begins when Amjad’s wife Neelam dies during childbirth leaving Amjad to care for his 10 year old son Saahil and his newborn Zahra. In his home, he is supported by his mother, Ammi, who is a caring and nurturing grandmother to the children. Amjad’s very close friends Harun and his wife Meana are just the support system Amjad needs and their son Ehsaan becomes like a brother to Saahil.
A few years later Saahil and his best friend Ehsaan are celebrating the end of university, filled with hopes and dreams, when an incident changes their lives forever. Meanwhile, Zahra has grown up to be someone who wants to voice her political opinions, and raise her concerns against injustice and pursue her dreams and aspirations.
Books about the contemporary immigrant experience has recently been on the rise. We have seen great books like A Place For Us, and The Girl Who Smiled Beads that narrate the American immigrant experience. Though the central theme maybe be the immigrant experience, every story has it’s own narrative. Some recount the horror of worn torn countries while others about how they struggled with cultural identities once they immigrated.
My most recent read with this theme has been Etaf Rum‘s debut novel, ‘A Woman is No Man’ which portrays the difficult lives of Arab -American women.
Aisha Saeed is a Pakistani-American, New York Times bestselling author of Amal Unbound, which my daughter and I recently read. You can hop over my blog post to read a spoiler free review.
She is an author, mother, lawyer and the founder of ‘We Need Diverse Books.Her previously published book was a YA story called Written in the Stars which received much praise!
Aisha lives in Atlanta with her husband and three sons.
I asked Aisha to share some insights with us on her recently released book, Amal Unbound. Thank you so much Aisha for taking the time for us!
What was your inspiration behind Amal and her story of indentured servitude?
A man called Ove. How did you just pronounce ‘Ove’ in your head? Was it like ‘stove’? Or more like ‘Ooo – veh’, where the ‘Ooo’ is the long syllable and ‘veh’ is said pretty quickly. Try it. Or perhaps as the audio book version on Amazon pronounces it – like ‘Ooo- vah’ ?
I started off mispronouncing Ove in my head, and at about 60 pages in, I realized, I couldn’t go on saying it incorrectly. It is a Swedish name and I remember how hard those names can be from what I had read in the ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo! Remember those names?
Since Ove is a Swedish name, apparently it can have different pronunciations, depending on where in Sweden you are from! Now that we are done with the lessons in Orthoepy, let’s talk more about the book itself. Continue reading →
Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West which was recently short listed for the Man Booker prize was one of my anticipated’s read this past month. I had read his earlier books, The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Moth Smoke and have enjoyed his modern writing style. An intelligent novelist, with a unique storytelling ability, Hamid’s latest book, Exit West, is a book that evokes much feeling and is pertinent in these times when we face a refugee crisis. Continue reading →
I saw this book displayed at Barnes & Nobles over the summer, yet I hesitated picking it up mainly because it’s classified as a YA novel (and I’m hardly young, and adult is debatable too!). It didn’t help, that I had already picked up over 20 books to haul back to Qatar in my suitcases. Continue reading →
Dimple. Strong headed, career oriented, and fierce. A girl who aims to pursue her dreams. A techie at heart (coding actually), plans to attend Stanford, and escape her parents traditional Indian ways.
Rishi. The obedient son belonging to a rich Indian family. He wants to make his parents proud by eventually pursuing an engineering degree at MIT. A hopeless romantic at heart, with a belief in the traditional Indian ways.
The seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, is not a book I would customarily pick up, but I was intrigued by the compelling reviews it was receiving in the blogger community. I am glad I picked it up because it definitely exceeded my expectations!
This book is a quick read, yet has all the elements to make it an intriguing and riveting one. It does not go into depths of magnitude proportions, but is quite the page turner and had me up at all hours of the night in my desire to find out what happened next. Continue reading →