September 24, 2009

Shabanu

Come on BTT. What's the saddest book I've read recently? Why you wanna bring me down on a Thursday? I just survived an epic flood. Nine people are dead and traffic is even more nightmarish than usual here in the Atlanta environs.

Well, fine, I'll play but I'm running out of "read recently" books to discuss...

Shabanu is sad. It's soul-crushingly sad. It's so sad I don't want to read the sequels because either things are going to be just as bad or worse for our spunky heroine or they'll get better and therefore completely unrealistic.

This is a young girl in a nomadic camel herding family that learns that a daughter obeys her father and then can look forward to obeying her husband. It's such a backwards culture that I was about halfway through the book before I realized it was set in modern day Pakistan. It's so Dark Age-y, I almost couldn't believe it when they saw a jeep drive by.

Long story short, her older sister is happy with her upcoming marriage and Shabanu warms up to hers. Then, of course, tragedy strikes and the older sister must now marry Shabanu's intended and Shabanu must marry the landlord's horrible older brother. Shabanu must basically learn to break her will to maintain peace.

Sad. Good! But still sad.