Review by Anne
I see that Shamsi’s latest book has hit the shelves and is every bit as good as we expected it to be. It is the story of two girls who commit themselves to a friendship that endures under all kinds of pressures. Namely boy problems, the terrors of abuse and even parental expectations. Sometimes a good friend helps one to override many of life’s problems
Maryam is ambitious and it is her desire to ultimately take over her grandfather’s business and run it herself. Her Grandfather recognises her strength and determination and is open to the idea, until an unfortunate incident involving herself, her best friend Zahra and two rather unscrupulous boys puts the girls at some risk. He then recognises that she is, after all, only a young foolish girl and seems to lose interest in the idea.
Meanwhile both their lives and their friendship continues through the mundanities of daily life but the ‘at risk’ situation is often discussed and is obviously a psychological problem between the two of them.
Their friendship is such that even when both girls become successful business women in their own right, and Maryam meets and becomes the partner of another woman, Layla, Zahra embraces them both as a couple rather than endanger the friendship.
Of course, this is only the basic outline of the book. The rest will be an enriching reading experience for those that choose to enjoy it. Shamsie is fast becoming one of the world’s most popular authors.
'The spirit of Elena Ferrante haunts this tale of a friendship forged in Karachi' - Sunday Times
'A profound novel about friendship. I loved it to pieces' - Madeline Miller
'A shining tour de force' - Ali Smith, Guardian Summer Reading
CHOSEN AS A BOOK OF 2022 BY THE GUARDIAN, OBSERVER, DAILY MAIL AND FINANCIAL TIMES