Q is for Qamar, Amjed

Amjed Qamar, Author

Book 17 in  A to Z Challenge

About the Book: Nazia doesn't mind when her friends tease and call her a good beti, a dutiful daughter. Growing up in a working-class family in Karachi, Pakistan, Nazia knows that obedience is the least she can give to her mother, who has spent years saving and preparing for her dowry. But every daughter must grow up, and for fourteen-year-old Nazia that day arrives suddenly when her father gets into an accident at work, and her family finds themselves without money for rent or food.

Being the beti that she is, Nazia drops out of school to help her mother clean houses, all the while wondering when she managed to lose control of her life that had been full of friends and school. Working as a maid is a shameful obligation that could be detrimental to her future -- after all, no one wants a housekeeper for a daughter-in-law. As Nazia finds herself growing up much too quickly, the lessons of hardship that seem unbearable turn out to be a lot more liberating than she ever imagined.

 My Review: This is a quick read that I found in the library when trying to find a book for day Q and I'm glad that I did. I like reading a variety of books and young adult in particular because we get to see the struggles the YA character has to go through as they are trying to figure out life. Nazia is no different. She goes through a lot in her young teen years as things go from bad, after her father's accident, to worse. It's one thing after the other but she and her mother work hard in order to survive.

Though the description of the book focuses on the main character being a good daughter, it just starts there and the story moves past that point early on. And I liked that. Nazia is going through tough transitions during a tough time in her families life. She has her own way of rebelling based on her world and cultures. It reminded me of my own little rebellions as a teen. I didn't do a lot of yelling or anything like that. As a pre-teen my rebellion was hanging out with a guy my parents said I couldn't be friends with and I wrote an essay about their banning me from being his friend was against my Constitutional rights. So, that was my "rebellion" stage. Nazia has her own.

I read the book in basically a day, my day off from work. It's short but has an interesting story and a character that made me want to keep reading to find out what she was going to do. Though I didn't always understand some of the words or phrases, there is a dictionary added in back for those that don't know them. I recommend people try the book out. Just don't expect it focusing on just being good and dutiful, cause that will disappoint. Expect a little rebellion and see how Nazia fights against the hard times that life can bring.

Reviewed by:
Dawn Embers



Comley Charlotte said...

interesting post. Nice to meet and connect through the atozchallenge.

Dawn Embers said...

Thanks for the comment. :-)

Shawn Yankey said...

I really dig your reviews and book choices. All of the ones you seem to talk about here are ones that I would normally never even consider but you make a great case as to why I should. Great Post!
Shawn from Laughing at Life 2

Dawn Embers said...

Thanks Shawn. I try to read different things so it's good to have some catch other people's attentions.

Stephsco said...

Very cool! I am always looking for YA about characters from non Western cultures. Thanks!

Hope you are enjoying the A to Z Challenge. Here's my post for today on Memorable Characters.

Dawn Embers said...

Stephsco - Thanks. I like reading many different stories and cultures.

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