Fatima Farheen Mirza • SJP for Hogarth • June 12, 2018 • 400 Pages
A Place for Us follows an Indian family—Rafiq and Layla, and their three children, Hadia, Huda, and Amar—as they build a life for themselves over the years in America. Rafiq and Layla were young immigrants to the United States, and through flashbacks we see bits and pieces of their early years together. They have children quickly and then (attempt to) raise them according to their homeland’s more strict Muslim values. But all three kids become Americanized anyway, and so begins the clash between the Old World and the New—with some kids (and parents) adjusting better than others…
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I was not expecting to love this book as much as I did, but it was wonderful. It’s definitely a slow and melancholy read, so prepare yourself for that. The writing is beautiful and descriptive, but it’s also sad—even when good things happen. There’s an underlying feeling of disconnection between characters that never goes away. Still, the story is well-developed and layered, and I fell in love with Rafiq and Layla’s family.
Part Four (the last part of the book) was honest-to-God luminous. I didn’t see it coming, and I didn’t think I could empathize with Rafiq as much as I did. After I finished the book, I seriously cried for twenty minutes. Such breathtaking writing.
Thank you to Sarah Jessica Parker, SJP at Hogarth, Crown Publishing, and Amazon Vine for the Advanced Reader Copy!