Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Beneath My Mother's Feet

Qamar, Amjed. 2008. Beneath My Mother's Feet. Simon & Schuster. 198 pages

The musky scent of mustard oil intensified in the early August heat.

Set in Pakistan, Beneath My Mother's Feet is the novel of the ever-dutiful daughter, Nazia, as her family's troubles push her towards making a difficult, life-changing decision. When her father is injured on the job, Nazia's life changes. After several weeks of her father not working, Nazia and her mother are 'forced' to seek work--work cleaning houses, a job with no respect, shameful at its very core. Nazia is angry that her father is allowing this to happen. That he's allowing her mother to pull her out of school so she can work as a maid in three or four households. The fact that her older brother conveniently disappeared so he wouldn't have to bring home money to support the family, only adds to everyone's frustration. The world we see in the novel is one where women work--slave over their work even--to provide for the lazy men in their lives. It's an unpleasant world, one where happiness isn't even considered possible in marriage. Men mean one thing T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Nazia is disappointed again and again by the men in her life--her father, her brother, her uncle. Could she be making the realization that the only person she can rely on is herself? What does Nazia want out of her life? And what is she willing to do to get what she wants? Will she go for her dreams even if it means disobeying her parents? Disappointing them?

You may read the first chapter online.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Gwendolyn B. said...

Becky: So glad you posted about this book. I've been racking my brain for the last few weeks trying to remember the name of this book! I'm adding right now to my TBR list!

Staci said...

I have this book in my library. I suggested it to one of my avid readers and she absolutely loved it!! I must read it too!!

Melissa said...

Could be good. Did you even like it, though?

Becky said...

Melissa, I did like it. It was interesting. I did connect with the heroine, and I came to hate (in a way) the men in her life--particularly her brother and father. I have slight, slight issues with the ending. But I definitely liked it.