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Nadia Hashimi Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
When the Moon is Low (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
One Half from the East (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A House Without Windows (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Sky at Our Feet (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sparks Like Stars (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Nadia Hashimi
Nadia Hashimi is a literary fiction author born and raised in New Jersey and New York. Her parents were born in Afghanistan but got a way to go to the US before the Soviet Invasion. Hashimi’s mom, a granddaughter to a renowned Afghan poet, did her Masters in Civil Engineering in Europe as her father worked to build a comfortable home for his family in the US. This talented author grew with uncles, aunts, and cousins, so she kept in touch with her Afghan culture. Currently, Hashimi lives in the US with her husband and their children. She enjoys being a mom, walking her dogs, and indulging in coffee and good old chocolate.

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell
The Pearl That Broke Its Shell tells the story of a girl who adopts an unusual custom to beat the odds stacked against her. It is 2007 in Kabul, and Rahima and her sisters are living with their drug-addicted father. With no brother to chaperone them, the sisters only attend school sporadically, not to mention that they rarely get out of the house. Their only hope is the ancient bacha posh custom that allows a girl to dress and be treated as a boy until she hits the marriageable age. Rahima adopts this custom that will enable her to attend school whenever she wants, go to the market, and chaperone her sisters, just like a son would do.

Rahima is not the only person in her household to embrace this custom. Her great-aunt, Shekiba, had adopted it about a century before following the death of her parents. Orphaned thanks to an epidemic, this was the only way Shekiba could save herself and rebuild her life. We get to see Rahima transform into Rahim. The girl who couldn’t leave her home now roams the streets without supervision and can even enjoy playing with other kids. Her new identity also benefits her sisters in many ways. We also get to see the effect the bacha posh custom has on Shekiba’s life.

This story comes with two storylines that keep on alternating. The author interweaves the tales of two women, a whole century apart but with a shared destiny. Both stories are intriguing and will keep you reading to see what happens in each woman’s life. How well will Rahima adapt to living as a boy and taking care of her elder sisters? What happens when she gets to marriageable age? What about Shekiba? Did she live her entire life as a man? In addition to the intriguing storylines, this book comes with a taste of Middle East culture. The Bacha Posh custom is quite exciting, and it is incredible how it changes Rahima’s life and destiny. However, marriage triumphs over it, and when the time comes, a girl will have to forget about her life as a boy.

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell is a perfect choice if you crave a good story. You will have no words to describe the feelings this book agitates. While it is not designed to be a roller coaster, this tale is so beautifully written it is hard not to get emotionally invested in the lives of the Afghan women highlighted in it. Rahima becomes so real as the story progresses, and by the end, you will feel like sending some comforting words to her. This fictional tale comes with so much integrity, and it portrays just the right amount of reality to make it read like a true story.

When the Moon is Low
When the Moon is Low highlights the story of a school teacher whose life is changed when the Taliban get to power. Fereiba is a school teacher who enjoys being genuinely loved by her husband. While theirs was an arranged marriage, Fereiba and her husband become fast friends, and their bond continues to grow the longer they stay in the marriage. As a middle-class family with education, work, and a bit of comfort, theirs is an ideal life. All these changes when their country is thrown into war as the Taliban take overpower. Fereiba is among those targeted by the fundamentalist regime, and when her husband is brutally murdered, the schoolteacher has to find a way to save herself and her children.

With her three children in tow, Fereiba starts on a journey to her sister’s family in London. This is not goingg to be an easy trip since Fereiba is leaving Kabul with forged papers. She will have to depend on the kindness of strangers while going through the dangerous crossing in darkness to Iran. This is just the beginning of a harrowing journey that will reduce a mother and a respected wife into a refugee. Fereiba and her children eventually make it to Europe, but their undocumented status haunts them whenever they go. Things take a frightening turn when Fereiba’s son, now a teenager, is separated from his family.
Life for Saleem gets more challenging, and without his mother’s guidance, he is quickly lured into the world of human trafficking. While he chose to go and look for money away from his mother, he did not know that it would be long before reuniting with them again. Fereiba is heartbroken, yet she and her other two children must continue on their journey, hoping that they would one day be reunited. The struggles mother and son go through on their journey will break your heart. This story shows how fast life can change and get out of control.

When the Moon is Low is an enlightening, intellectually stimulating, and refreshing read. The story touches on issues that are still prevalent in society today. Think of human trafficking, refugee camps, and immigration. Some parts of this book will shatter your soul, and you will keep hoping that Fereiba can finally catch a break. In her beautiful writing style, the author paints an accurate picture of refugees’ lives risking their lives to leave their war-torn countries in search of a better life for themselves and the next generation. It is said that this is kind of life is a reality to millions of refugees spread across the globe.

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