Friday, April 18, 2008
Nadira's life is set out for her. As a young woman in modern day Pakistan with a dreadful scar on her face, punishment for a crime committed by her eldest brother, she has little hope for marriage. Instead, she works hard as a maid and cooks for a good family, and gives all that she saves to her mother and young brother Umar. Umar adores Nadira, and is the only one who does not view her scar as something despicable. But then one day Umar disappears, kidnapped by men who would train him in the dangerous ways of a camel jockey, With little hope of the police finding him, Nadira cuts her hair and dares to follow him, using all of her skill and chai in order to survive the cruel and tragic way of life and bring her brother home safely.
Broken Moon is mesmerizing. Though virtually unheard of, camel jockeying is portrayed in a frank fashion, without shying around the horrors of it: abuse, starvation, injury, and death. But yet this story isn't all dismal. It's full of hope and courage as Nadira, intelligent and resourceful, bravely disregards the standards her society has set for women and forges her own way in this new world. Though readers may feel impatient for the action, they won't be disappointed if they stick through with the book. Broken Moon is an uplifting and empowering read.