Monday, May 12, 2014

TLC Book Tours: The Pearl that Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi

Title: The Pearl that Broke Its Shell
Author: Nadia Hashimi
Format: ARC
Publisher: William Morrow
Publish Date: May 6, 2014
Source: TLC Book Tours

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a fiction fan.
  • You're a historical fiction fan.
  • You like your books off the beaten path.
What's the Story?:

From "In Kabul, 2007, with a drug-addicted father and no brothers, Rahima and her sisters can only sporadically attend school, and can rarely leave the house. Their only hope lies in the ancient custom of bacha posh, which allows young Rahima to dress and be treated as a boy until she is of marriageable age. As a son, she can attend school, go to the market, and chaperone her older sisters.

But Rahima is not the first in her family to adopt this unusual custom. A century earlier, her great-aunt, Shekiba, left orphaned by an epidemic, saved herself and built a new life the same way."

My Two Cents:

"The Pearl that Broke Its Shell" is the story of Rahima, daughter to a drug addled father and a mother that doesn't know what to do about Rahima or her sisters. Rahima's story takes place in 2007 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Rahima's family decides that the best course of action is for Rahima to take part in the ancient custom of "bacha posh" where she can effectively become a son, which will help her family. Rahima finds out that her great grandmother did the same thing. The story follows both Rahima and her great grandmother, Shekiba, as they move through their lives in different time periods.

I'm always interested in reading about people who have very different lives from me, which is definitely the case in my enjoyment of this book. The lives of Rahima and Shekiba are quite different from mine. Although they live in very different times, they have a lot of similarities between how they are treated in Afghanistan. It was hard to read about some of the things that both women went through merely because they happened to be women.

I had never known about the custom of "bacha posh" before and you all know how I like learning something a little bit new from what I read. It was so interesting to me to see how Rahima and Shekiba were treated once they became male through the custom. Some people are willing to look the other way and accept the change. Others see it as fodder for gossip. Eventually both women make lives after their "bacha posh" transformation. It was so interesting to see how they were able to do that.

This book was definitely eye-opening for me. If you like learning about different cultures and interesting characters, this would be a great pick!

Follow the Rest of the Tour:

Wednesday, May 7th: The Gilmore Guide to Books
Thursday, May 8th: Lit and Life
Friday, May 9th: Books in the Burbs
Monday, May 12th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, May 12th: A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, May 13th: Drey’s Library
Wednesday, May 14th: Snowdrop Dreams of Books
Thursday, May 15th: West Metro Mommy
Wednesday, May 21st: Peeking Between the Pages
Thursday, May 22nd: Time 2 Read
Monday, May 26th: BoundbyWords



  1. I had similar feelings about this novel- I love reading about other cultures but the treatment of women and girls is so appalling it made it hard for me to move beyond that fact because it's not fiction.

    I love your format with Your Two Cents- a great way to sum up!

  2. That particular tradition is new to me as well. It sounds fascinating!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  3. I just finished this one earlier this week. It's one of those books that just won't let you go. My review will be up tomorrow.


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