Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Review: When The Moon Is Low

 When The Moon Is Low
by Nadia Hashimi

Why did you choose this book? I loved the author’s first book
When did you read this book? July 2015
Who should read this book? readers who enjoyed The Pearl That Broke Its Shell
Source: TLC Book Tours
Here is a synopsis of When The Moon Is Low from TLC Book Tours

By turns astonishing, frightening, and triumphant, When the Moon Is Low chronicles one brave Afghan woman’s odyssey to save her family

In Kabul, we meet Fereiba, a schoolteacher who puts her troubled childhood behind her when she finds love in an arranged marriage. But Fereiba’s comfortable life implodes when the Taliban rises to power and her family becomes a target of the new fundamentalist regime. Forced to flee with her three children, Fereiba has one hope for survival: to seek refuge with her sister’s family in London.

Traveling with forged papers and depending on the kindness of strangers, Fereiba and the children make a dangerous crossing into Iran under cover of darkness, the start of a harrowing journey that reduces her from a respected wife and mother to a desperate refugee.
Eventually they fall into the shadowy underground network of the undocumented who haunt the streets of Europe’s cities. And then, in a busy market square in Athens, their fate takes a frightening turn when Fereiba’s teenage son, Saleem, becomes separated from the rest of the family. Without his mother, Saleem is forced, abruptly and unforgivingly, to come of age in a world of human trafficking and squalid refugee camps.

Heartbroken, Fereiba has no choice but to continue on with only her daughter and baby. Mother and son cross border after perilous border, risking their lives in the hope of finding a place where they can be reunited.

My Review

I previously read Nadia Hashimi’s debut novel, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, and loved it. So when I heard she was working on a second novel, I immediately put the book on my To Be Read list. The beautiful cover on When The Moon Is Low is just icing on the cake! However, knowing there is often an author’s ‘sophomore slump, I was prepared to be disappointed. Happily, not only was I not disappointed, but I can say that Nadia Hashimi is rapidly progressing up the ranks of my ‘favorite authors’ list.

Most of the first part of the book is told by Ferieba, a woman from Afghanistan who had a rough childhood, but was fortunate enough to grow up to a good life…. until the Taliban appeared on the scene and left her family devastated and running for escape. The second part of the book is told mostly in the voice of her oldest son, Saleem. The author has a wonderful way of describing the scenes, making you feel that you are right there. I have to admit that at one point the situation really struck me. For much of the book, I felt like I was reading historical fiction, reading about the conditions in the distant past. About three-quarters of the way through the book it hit me — there are refugees!...hoping to escape the Taliban and living in horrible camps, and hoping for a better tomorrow.

This is a fantastic story and will make a great selection for book clubs. If I have to find something negative to say about the book, I will nitpick and say that I would have liked a little more detailed ending. The ending of the book was an ‘implied’ ending, but left little doubt about the outcome. My nitpick is that I would have liked to have been there to see it. However that would have only made me like the book a little more and certainly did not take away from my experience with the book. Pick it up! You won’t be sorry!

About Nadia Hashimi

Nadia Hashimi’s parents left Afghanistan in the 1970s, before the Soviet invasion. She was raised in the United States, and in 2002 she visited Afghanistan for the first time with her parents. Hashimi is a pediatrician and lives with her family in suburban Washington, D.C.

Find out more about Nadia at her website, connect with her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

My Rating:  ★★★★★    5 Stars

This book review is included in a tour by TLC Book Tours. I was provided a copy for review purposes of the book for review purposes.

Nadia’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, July 21st: BookNAround
Tuesday, July 21st: Many Hats
Wednesday, July 22nd: Time 2 Read
Thursday, July 23rd: Literary Lindsey
Thursday, July 23rd: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Tuesday, July 28th: 2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews
Wednesday, July 29th: Raven Haired Girl
Thursday, July 30th: Books on the Table
Monday, August 3rd: Novel Escapes
Tuesday, August 4th: 5 Minutes For Books

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  1. This book does sound very good. Such a terrible situation, but I think we all need to know about these things - to broaden our world view and get a bit outside of our own sphere. Putting it on my list. And thanks.

  2. I love it when an author is able to wow me two books in a row. Looks like Nadia is an author to be watched!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

    - Heather J @ TLC Book Tours