Thursday, August 13, 2015

"When the Moon Is Low"

Nadia Hashimi is an Afghan American pediatrician living in suburban Washington, D.C. She is the author of the international bestseller The Pearl That Broke Its Shell.

Hashimi applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, When the Moon Is Low, and reported the following:
Page 69, much to my delight, was the first page of a chapter about Fereiba, the protagonist of When the Moon Is Low. Fereiba, as a young whose mother dies during her birth and her father, desperate for help with his two young children, quickly remarries. Her childhood made difficult by a stepmother who cannot make space for her in her heart, Fariba grows into a lonely young woman.
"They blame you for his death. That's what I heard," KokoGul said flatly. The back of my neck grew hot. I stopped drying the dishes. The rag hung limply in my hand.

"Me? Why do they think it was me?"

"They say he was a perfectly healthy young man and that he was taken from his family the day before they were to come for your shirnee [hand in marriage]. Of course, Agha Firooz's wife insists that you must be cursed. First your mother, then your grandfather and now this suitor who was just hours from becoming your fiance."
There is much more to the story, though, than can fit on page 69. Fereiba finds herself in an unexpectedly blissful marriage to a civil engineer. They build a warm home for themselves and their children only to have their world torn asunder by the war in Afghanistan and the brutal Taliban regime. When Fereiba loses her beloved husband, she is forced to flee the dangers of Kabul with her three children. With an eye on England, the family presses on from one country to another, relying on each other and the kindness of strangers. When Fereiba’s adolescent son, Saleem, becomes separated from the rest of the family, a new series of events forces him to come of age in the underground world of the desperate.
Visit Nadia Hashimi's website.

--Marshal Zeringue