The Pearl That Broke Its Shell Audio CD – Unabridged, May 6, 2014
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"Dovetail" by Karen McQuestion
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About the Author
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Audio CD : 1 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1483006808
- ISBN-13 : 978-1483006802
- Publisher : Blackstone Audio; Unabridged edition (May 6, 2014)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,175,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This book deals with the lives of women in Afghanistan in the early 20th century and early 21st century. Rahima whose story started in the early 2000s was actually the great great granddaughter of the Shekiba. One of Rahima's aunts tells her about Shekiba. The book shows many similarities between their lives. Some chapters are told by Rahima in the first person. Others are told in the third person about Shekiba.
The book deals gender inequalities between males and females and violence against women in the two time periods. Although Russians, Taliban, Americans and Europeans are mentioned, the book primarily involves the traditional Afghan culture. It is a rather dark book and has a lot of violence against women by both men and women. In the end, I found it a worthwhile book, but if violence bothers you, you may not want to read this book.
That being said, I felt the novel was not as good as it could have been. There is too much telling, and not enough showing. It was hard for me to keep all of the characters straight, given the two different plot lines. It was longer than it needed to be. It could better be described as historical / social fiction than literary.
Still, the plot/s grabbed me enough to finish the book. I had read a lot about Afghanistan, and also about girls who had to act as boys in order to help their families, so some of the plot details were not new to me. The general despair of women is quite well depicted.
Seriously, it was a great story and written well. It's somewhat historical, but not so much as to be a history. It's more of an introduction to a different culture, with different values, and different morals. Some of it is a bit difficult to read, but that's true on most any novel worth reading. Still, you'll never be horrified, or if so, not for long. And it's not, like I thought it might be, anti-American.
If I have anything negative to say, it's about the names, both personal names as well as place names. Those names, in a foreign language, can be difficult sometimes. I tried to "translate" them into English names, but some names are almost the same, so I got lost anyway. By halfway, I'd actually learned the names ....and I was so proud of myself!
Great novel, good storyteller. And I'm going to buy her next novel, so that should tell you even more than all that above.
That is the world opened through the Nadia Hashimi's book "The Pearl That Broke Its Shell." It is the story of two young Afghani women: Rahima, who is one of five daughters in a family that decides to make her a bachata posh, which allows her to dress and be treated as a boy until marriageable age; and in alternate chapters, her great, great grandmother, Shekiba, an orphan treated badly first by her family and then sold into servitude to pay a debt. As told in Hashimi's capable hands, we see how similar their lives are and how the determination for a better life drives both.
This is a quite astounding read and a good story that allows us to sea and begin to understand a bit of what it is like to live in such a world, especially in the time of great changes for Afghanistan.
Top reviews from other countries
I would recommend this book to anyone really with an interested in looking into life in an emerging Afghani world or similar settings.
I would have given 10 stars for this book for the descriptive dexterity and the tension created by the author.