Filled with the language of poetry, Shamsie depicts a post-9/11 Pakistan filled with loss and sadness, and glimmers of hope. Aasmani’s journey through her loss mirrors that of the country’s loss of freedom, as did the Poet’s love for her mother and country cause him to cry out against the injustices of government. Aasmani’s sharpness and rudeness to others reflect the anger and pain she feels over the loss of her mother and father-figure, similar to the way that the country currently refuses to back down to American demands. No one wants to be taken advantage of or pushed around. In the end, the courage to face the future and determine her steps back to wholeness bring freedom and lightness back to Aasmani.
This is a timely novel, and one I highly recommend to any who would like to know more about the people of Pakistan. I also recommend Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi for a better understanding of the people of Iran. I believe that the people of America and all the countries of the Middle East need to understand each other and be able to relate so that we can establish a lasting peace between us.