In Kabul, 2007, with a drug-addicted father and no brothers, Rahima and her sisters can only sporadically attend school, and can rarely leave the house. Their only hope lies in the ancient custom of bacha posh, which allows young Rahima to dress and be treated as a boy until she is of marriageable age. As a son, she can attend school, go to the market, and chaperone her older sisters.
But Rahima is not the first in her family to adopt this unusual custom. A century earlier, her great-aunt, Shekiba, left orphaned by an epidemic, saved herself and built a new life the same way.
Crisscrossing in time, The Pearl the Broke Its Shell interweaves the tales of these two women separated by a century who share similar destinies. But what will happen once Rahima is of marriageable age? Will Shekiba always live as a man? And if Rahima cannot adapt to life as a bride, how will she survive?
This was such a good book, with powerful story in it. That last line made me smile and wanting to shed a tear for the happiness of it.
A girl is always in the wrong. Ugh, that made me angry. Rahima and her sisters could not walk to school cos if boys followed them then everyone would think it was cos they wanted that. And all Rahima wanted was to learn. But this was not the country for that. Still, she got the chance thanks to a custom, that is actually real. They dress the girl as a boy and she is a boy.
But this is still Afghanistan, and a village in the middle of nowhere. I knew nothing good would come of that. I am not going to spoil the story, but she will leave a rough life. One that makes me angry at men, sorry men, but some men are just!!!!! There is this one line about a couple of men talking about women and how the new Afghanistan will have women in parliament and they are all, but who will take care of the children? *headdesk*
I am going to go on a rant about men and religion and history soon so let's move away from that....*backing away*
The book is also about the story of Shekiba, Rahima's great great grandmother. Who also dressed as a boy and was a boy and how Rahima wants to find her own destiny like Shekiba. I liked the early parts there, at the end her story was not as good as in the beginning. But it was interesting to see how she lived in a time where Afghanistan changed to be later changed back again. How they thought a new era was coming with modern things and free women. But hey, then it became bad again. I hope Shekiba did not see that.
I want to say so many clever things, but...just read it. An interesting take on how it is to be a young woman in a country where women are not important.
Nice, but hmmm
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by William Morrow