From bestselling and National Book Award-nominated author Tahereh Mafi comes a stunning novel about love and loneliness, navigating the hyphen of dual-identity, and reclaiming your right to joy–even when you’re trapped in the amber of sorrow.
A searing look into the world of a single Muslim family in the wake of 9/11 about a child of immigrants forging a blurry identity, falling in love, and finding hope–in the midst of a modern war.
It’s 2003, several months since the US officially declared war on Iraq, and the American political world has evolved. Tensions are high, hate crimes are on the rise, FBI agents are infiltrating local mosques, and the Muslim community is harassed and targeted more than ever. Shadi, who wears hijab, keeps her head down.
She’s too busy drowning in her own troubles to find the time to deal with bigots.
Shadi is named for joy, but she’s haunted by sorrow. Her brother is dead, her father is dying, her mother is falling apart, and her best friend has mysteriously dropped out of her life. And then, of course, there’s the small matter of her heart—
Shadi tries to navigate her crumbling world by soldiering through, saying nothing. She devours her own pain, each day retreating farther and farther inside herself until finally, one day, everything changes.