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A Place for Us : A Novel
2018
Availability
Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Rafiq (Male), Married, Father, Father of Hadia, Huda, and Amar; faces the choices that his children have made
Layla (Female), Married, Mother, Mother of Hadia, Huda, and Amar; faces the choices that her children have made
Hadia (Female), Eldest daughter
Huda (Female), Middle child
Amar (Male), Estranged son
Genre
Fiction
Domestic
Historical
Literary
Topics
Family
Husbands and wives
Weddings
Reunions
Secrets
Betrayal
Identity
Cultural identity
Setting
- United States
Time Period
2000s -- 21st century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

Bonds of faith and family strengthen and strangle in this promising but flawed debut, set in a close-knit Indian Muslim community in California. The story opens with the wedding of Hadia, golden child of Layla and Rafiq and older sister to Huda and Amar, skillfully setting up the central tension: why has Amar, the troubled youngest, been absent from the family, and can he be drawn back? The plot then shuffles backward and forward, revisiting plot points with few signposts to let the reader know when exactly key events-an untimely death, the snuffing out of a forbidden relationship, a family-rupturing fight-take place. Perspective alights on various characters, revealing more about some than others; middle child Huda remains nearly opaque, and early references to Rafiq's violent temper are all but dropped. For the final 80 pages, Rafiq narrates, and the story at last coheres. He delivers a heartrending reflection on his role in his son's partly self-imposed banishment: "It is in these moments that the fabric of my life reveals itself to be an illusion: thinking that I am fine, we all are, that we could grow around your loss like a tree that bends around a barrier or wound." Mirza displays a particular talent for rendering her characters' innermost emotional lives, signaling a writer to watch. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER <br> <br> Vanity Fair : "Ultimate Summer Fiction"<br> Good Morning, America : "Best Books To Bring To the Beach This Summer"<br> Glamour.com : "The 17 Best Books to Read This Summer"<br> Refinery29 : "Brilliant Books To Bring To The Beach This Summer" <br> USA Today : "10 Hot Books For Summer Reading"<br> EW.com : " This Summer's Debut Authors You Need To Know Right Now" <br> Buzzfeed : "30 Summer Books To Get Excited About" <br> PopSugar : "16 Most Exciting New Books To Read In June" <br> DailyBeast : "Best Summer Beach Reads" <br> Nylon : "46 Great Books To Read This Summer" <br> LitHub : "Ultimate Summer Books Preview"<br> Shondaland : "5 Brilliant New Books to Read in June"<br> <br> "Has a household ever been cradled in such tender attention as this novel provides? She writes with a mercy that encompasses all things. Each time I stole away into this novel, it felt like a privilege to dwell among these people, to fall back under the gentle light of Mirza's words." -- RON CHARLES, Washington Post <br> <br> The first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint, SJP for Hogarth, A Place for Us is a deeply moving and resonant story of love, identity, and belonging<br> <br> <p>As an Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the choices their children have made. There is Hadia: their headstrong, eldest daughter, whose marriage is a match of love and not tradition. Huda, the middle child, determined to follow in her sister's footsteps. And lastly, their estranged son, Amar, who returns to the family fold for the first time in three years to take his place as brother of the bride. What secrets and betrayals have caused this close-knit family to fracture? Can Amar find his way back to the people who know and love him best?<br> <br> A Place for Us takes us back to the beginning of this family's life: from the bonds that bring them together, to the differences that pull them apart. All the joy and struggle of family life is here, from Rafiq and Layla's own arrival in America from India, to the years in which their children--each in their own way--tread between two cultures, seeking to find their place in the world, as well as a path home.<br> <br> A Place for Us is a book for our times: an astonishingly tender-hearted novel of identity and belonging, and a resonant portrait of what it means to be an American family today. It announces Fatima Farheen Mirza as a major new literary talent.</p>
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