Khan, Rukhsana. 2009. Wanting Mor. Groundwood Books. 190 pages.
I thought she was sleeping.
Jameela is a young Afghan girl with a world of sorrow. After losing her mother (the Mor in the title), her father decides to sell what he can, pack what he can, and head back to Kabul. He is her only family, and so while she doesn't want to leave the only home she's known, her place is with him. Even if she doesn't like her father's choices and the company he keeps.
Jameela treasures up every memory she has of her mother. Mor always told Jameela that "if you can't be beautiful, you should at least be good." And Jameela feels those words must be true. If she can just be good enough, work hard enough, the people around her should start to appreciate her, respect her, and maybe just maybe come to care for her. She knows she isn't beautiful. She was born with a cleft lip. But surely she is more than that. She is more than her imperfect face. Can anyone look beyond and see what strength, what devotion lies beneath?
This was an emotional read for me. Jameela was such a strong (yet vulnerable) heroine. I loved her resilience and respected her devotion to her faith. This book is set in 2001 in Afghanistan.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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