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BENEATH MY MOTHER’S FEET by Amjed Qamar Kirkus Star


by Amjed Qamar

Pub Date: June 17th, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4169-4728-8
Publisher: Atheneum

Fourteen-year-old Nazia is a good Muslim girl. She lives in Karachi and keeps busy attending school, helping with her younger siblings and preparing for an arranged marriage, when her father is injured. Nazia doesn’t know it at first, but everything in her life has changed. First, she leaves school to work as a maid with her mother, which is kept secret, since this would make her unsuitable for marriage. Then the unthinkable happens: Nazia’s dowry is stolen. Her father remains unemployed while his wife and daughter work, and as his behavior becomes more unpredictable, Nazia and her mother realize they must assume responsibility for the family. Nazia’s hopes for the future are dashed. But when she is offered the opportunity to marry a man who will rule over her, she must decide exactly what she is willing to sacrifice. Reminiscent of Suzanne Fisher Staples’s Shabanu (1989), this beautifully written depiction of life in modern Pakistan offers readers a painful and stirring view of a girl with limited choices but great inner strength. (Fiction. 12 & up)