A Place for Us: A Novel

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Layla and Rafiq are an Indian-American Muslim couple who have three children: two girls, Hadia and Huda, and a boy, Amar. A Place For Us is a nonlinear account of the happenings within the family and cornerstone events that affect the paths of each family member. The story begins at Hadia’s wedding and weaves its way through the better part of a century, revealing messages about familial conflict and faith.

The novel is constructed from vignettes in different family members’ points of view, and the writing is such that the reader becomes a fly on the wall to all of the family’s milestones. The story itself is deeply affecting. Not only will readers want to absorb the entire story in a day, but they will be moved by the narrative, which is weighted with the sadness, yearning, and regret of wasted possibilities. None of the characters really reached their true potential, and that was okay. This book was a slow burn with a small climax, and critics might find it too slow and meandering for their tastes.

A similar book I read this year was The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky by Jana Casale. It touched on modern-day concerns with an extremely slow plot, much like this one. A Place For Us might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I was strongly affected by it. It has a place among some of the best books I’ve ever read.

Reviewed By:

Author Fatima Farheen Mirza
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 400 pages
Publisher SJP for Hogarth
Publish Date 2018-Jun-12
ISBN 9781524763558
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue September 2018
Category Modern Literature


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