The Pearl that Broke Its Shell - Nadia Hashimi

The Pearl that Broke Its Shell

By Nadia Hashimi

  • Release Date - Published: 2014-05-06
  • Book Genre: Family
  • Author: Nadia Hashimi
Our rating: 5/5 stars

4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 156 Ratings)

The Pearl that Broke Its Shell Nadia Hashimi read online review & book description:

Afghan-American Nadia Hashimi's literary debut novel is a searing tale of powerlessness, fate, and the freedom to control one's own fate that combines the cultural flavor and emotional resonance of the works of Khaled Hosseini, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Lisa See.

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-great grandmother, 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?

The Pearl that Broke Its Shell book review The Pearl that Broke Its Shell ePUB; Nadia Hashimi; Family books.

Posted Reviews

  • Strong debut novel

    4
    By archetype67
    Nadia Hashimi's debut novel is a strong work that explores the lives of two Afghani women who lived a hundred years apart. Both women, for different reasons, participate in a Afghan tradition, bacha posh of dressing a daughter as a boy when there are no sons. The novel tackles the issues of child marriage, abuse, discord between women of a household (second, third, and fourth wives as well as mother-in-laws), opium abuse, warlords, corruption, and the impact of war and invasion on everyday people. The focus is on the burden on women in the society and the split narratives show how little conditions for women have changed. What is interesting is that the portrayal of Rahima is not a story of someone living under the radical Taliban beliefs, but of the more traditional Afghan society. Her great-great-grandmother, Shekiba's world is that of the monarchy. One can see how despite the changes in government, little has changed for women. Hashimi's language is beautiful at times but the world she paints is bleak, full of loss and struggle. There is strength in many the women who exist in the novel but it creates a bitterness that they often take out on each other and leaves the reader with a sense of anger and a desire for them to turn that bitterness and anger on the men who have built this dreadful world they inhabit. The two women's stories end differently, but for me it is Rahima's that falls short. It felt rushed and almost anti-climactic. Granted, at 450 pages, it was time to end it, but there was room for editing earlier on that could have left more space to do her story justice in the ending. It wasn't a bad ending in terms of where it left the reader, rather a poorly paced ending that lost the potential impact of a better structured and written ending. Despite the rush at the end, the novel is worth the read for the insights into a world few westerners can fathom. It is through novels that we can develop empathy for those who live a life so different from our own.
  • The pearl that broke its shell

    5
    By M3key
    Wow – so many untold stories needing to be told about Afghanistan. Nadia Hashimi breaks through with the story that Westerners need to understand about what can happen in a totally different foreign culture. This story is a heartbreaker.
  • Best book read in a long time!!!

    5
    By Great true to life story
    Every woman should read this book. A real eye opener to how women were, and still are, treated in Central Asia. Characters, landscape, events described with precision. This book read like a thriller moving quickly from one event to another. Neat trick having a story within a story yet easy to follow. You will not be able to put this book down!!!!
  • Hmm.. Open ending

    3
    By ThickHeartMom
    Not thrilled - the book spent a lot of time weaving two intricate tales but it feels very rushed at the end. What happens to Rahima? We don't know because it just... Stops.
  • Interesting

    4
    By Chibby.
    One would think this story was set in the distant past, not in the present. How downtrodden the women of Afghanistan are! Still, I did enjoy the names and culture.
  • Great book

    5
    By pink dreams
    Harsh story and quite depressing to say the least, but I still enjoyed the book and would highly recommend it.
  • The Pearl that Broke. It's Shell

    5
    By Rose Bud too
    Absolutely a wonderful read! Very descriptive and informative. More real than fiction. You won't be disappointed
  • The Pearl that Broke Its Shell

    5
    By SeniorLady
    Excellent story. Looking forward to reading more from this author.
  • The pearl that broke its shell

    4
    By Alina PR
    Good reading, but sad. It is good to realize the great nation we live in. I pray for all those girls and women that lives in those irrational and ignorant societies.
  • Amazing

    5
    By IvyRose23
    If you love the writing style of Khaled Hosseini, then you will love this book. By far one of the best book I have read this summer.

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