Author: Fatima Farheen Mirza
Publisher: SJP for Hogarth
Publish Date: June 12, 2018
Source: TLC Book Tours
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "A Place for Us unfolds the lives of an Indian-American Muslim family, gathered together in their Californian hometown to celebrate the eldest daughter, Hadia's, wedding - a match of love rather than tradition. It is here, on this momentous day, that Amar, the youngest of the siblings, reunites with his family for the first time in three years. Rafiq and Layla must now contend with the choices and betrayals that lead to their son's estrangement - the reckoning of parents who strove to pass on their cultures and traditions to their children; and of children who in turn struggle to balance authenticity in themselves with loyalty to the home they came from.
In a narrative that spans decades and sees family life through the eyes of each member, A Place For Us charts the crucial moments in the family's past, from the bonds that bring them together to the differences that pull them apart. And as siblings Hadia, Huda, and Amar attempt to carve out a life for themselves, they must reconcile their present culture with their parent's faith, to tread a path between the old world and the new, and learn how the smallest decisions can lead to the deepest of betrayals."
My Two Cents:
"A Place for Us" opens with the son and youngest child, Amar, of a Muslim-American family returning to attend his sister's wedding. It's a bittersweet return. Amar is loved by his family but also has caused a lot of trouble for his family through his decisions. Going back and forth between the present and various points in the past in the lives of this family, secrets will be uncovered and roles will be revealed. I really loved this book and loved the depiction of the relationships between the various family members!
This is an incredibly ambitious novel by a debut author and it's wonderful. This book could have been a disaster as the events in the book go back and forth between the present and so many different parts of this family's past. But as a reader, you are so interested in figuring out what would have caused Amar to leave the family only to come back at such a big moment. The fact that the author writes with super vivid language and includes wonderful descriptions doesn't hurt in keeping everything straight in your head.
I loved following this family. It is clear that they deeply love each other and it is clear that they are all just imperfect people trying to do the best that they can. These are the kind of characters that stick in your brain long after you close the book. I loved the way that the author described the tangled spiderweb of relationships between each of the family members. We see how each of their relationships have similarities and vast differences. These characters feel very individual but you also get to see how they work as a family as well.
This was a powerful meditation on how important family is and how complicated they can be. I cannot wait to see what this author writes next!