First Impression Friday is hosted by J.W. Martin.
First Impression Friday will be a meme where you talk about a book that you JUST STARTED! Maybe you’re only a chapter or two in, maybe a little farther.
Based on this sampling of your current read, give a few impressions and predict what you’ll think by the end.
A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
A Place for Us unfolds the lives of an Indian-American Muslim family, gathered together in their Californian hometown to celebrate the eldest daughter, Hadia’s, wedding – a match of love rather than tradition. It is here, on this momentous day, that Amar, the youngest of the siblings, reunites with his family for the first time in three years. Rafiq and Layla must now contend with the choices and betrayals that lead to their son’s estrangement – the reckoning of parents who strove to pass on their cultures and traditions to their children; and of children who in turn struggle to balance authenticity in themselves with loyalty to the home they came from.
In a narrative that spans decades and sees family life through the eyes of each member, A Place For Us charts the crucial moments in the family’s past, from the bonds that bring them together to the differences that pull them apart. And as siblings Hadia, Huda, and Amar attempt to carve out a life for themselves, they must reconcile their present culture with their parent’s faith, to tread a path between the old world and the new, and learn how the smallest decisions can lead to the deepest of betrayals.
A deeply affecting and resonant story, A Place for Us is truly a book for our times: a moving portrait of what it means to be an American family today, a novel of love, identity and belonging that eloquently examines what it means to be both American and Muslim — and announces Fatima Farheen Mirza as a major new literary talent.
With classes starting again, I didn’t have as much time to read this week as I would have liked, so I am only a few chapters in to A Place for Us. I received this book as a Christmas present last year, and I am just now getting to it. I am kicking myself for waiting this long!
Fatima Farheen Mirza is an incredible writer and has a strong authorial voice. I am blown away that this is her debut novel. I can already tell that she has a lot to say and that I am going to come away with a lot to think about when I finished A Place for Us.
There is an interesting family dynamic and I am curious to learn more of their history. Why has Amar not seen his family in three years? Also, I get the feeling that a large part of the story centers around the siblings and their relationships with one another- something I absolutely love to read about in fiction.
There is not much else I can say because I have read very little of this book so far, but the writing is so lush and the story line is right in my wheelhouse. I plan of savouring this one!
Side note- I know A Place for Us was part of Sarah Jessica Parker’s imprint at Penguin Random House. Is that still a thing? I do not hear much buzz for her books anymore.