The Pearl that broke its shell by Nadia Hashimi
The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi is a lyrical work of literary fiction which tells the story of two woman from the same family, living a century apart, Rahima and Shekiba, who both followed an ancient custom in Afghanistan called bacha posh, which allows a girl to dress as man until marrying age, allowing the girl the freedom to attend school, shop unaccompanied, work, and to chaperone one’s sisters. Will Rahima follow the path Shekiba chose a century before her or will she follow a different path altogether. The Pearl That Broke Its Shell is a breathtaking beautiful and at the same time painful book to read, the characters easily come to life, for good or bad, and Hashimi’s writing transport the reader directly into the interwoven stories. I found myself more drawn to Shekiba’s life, however, each story is mesmerizing, heartbreaking, and full of hope where it seems little is offered. There is not enough I can do to praise The Pearl That broke Its Shell, for it must be read to truly bring out all the wonders of this remarkable novel which will stay with the reader long after the book ends. I highly recommend The Pearl That Broke Its Shell to all readers and especially to book discussion groups, for this book offers up a wealth of information to digest
Nadia Hashimi is a pediatrician of Afghan descent. Both her parents left Afghanistan in the early 1970s and settled in the United States to chase the American dream. Her debut novel, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell (Harper Collins, 2014) is an international bestseller and was a 2014 Goodreads finalist in the categories of Debut Author and Fiction. Her second novel, When The Moon Is Low, is a story of terror, survival, perseverance and hope that chronicles one Afghan woman’s odyssey to save her family and find asylum in the West.