I was not looking for an insight into Qatari lifestyle when I selected this book, but given the fact that I was automatically approved when I requested to read it on NetGalley, made me look forward to something.
I was taken right into the thick of things with Abdulla, the protagonist, getting the shocking news of his wife’s death. He does not tell the families involved that she was pregnant at the time and proceeds to withdraw into his guilt by keeping himself busy with work and not saying his prayers like he used to. His family give him time to grieve, but after three years, the men decide that it is time to have him remarry. He is engaged to Hind, his dead wife’s cousin, a strong lady with aspirations of her own, who insists that she would only be married after completing her Masters. Abdulla consents only because of this because Fatima (his dead wife) and their unborn child still dwells in his heart and he is certain that the distance and time will enable him sort out his life.
After some time, he travels to the UK, to see his fiancee, but Hind’s in Mumbai with Ravi…and such news would be met with repercussions in their community. He stays at the request of Sangita, Hind’s Indian friend…whom Abdulla, finds himself at ease. He smiles for the first time with this strange girl, and somewhere at the back of his mind, something tugs at his lifeless heart.
I loved the fusion of the places and lifestyle of Qatar in this book. I have never been to Qatar, but well, the designer labels and love for franchises just sold me!
On the writing style: I liked it, because each character embodies an agenda which they wish to achieve, and the elders seem to have this finality in their decisions which I found interesting.
On character progression: the characters evolve, for Abdulla slowly weaves himself out of his guilt with the help of his family, Luluwa and finally Sangita. I loved that Sangita could stand up to Abdulla and challenge his resolve…it made their connection stronger.
However, the ending was as swift as it was unexpected. The author is currently working on a sequel which would be out sometime in June or sooner than that (I hope it’s sooner than that) and I would love to read it, just because I am still left hanging.
Reviewed also on Amazon: here
Get a copy, it’s only $0.99 for the Kindle Edition and $12.00 for paperback.