When the Moon is low-Book Review

Day 23 of #AtoZChallenge

I get instantaneously drawn toward stories with a war background.Wars have a gruesome impact on people; people who are not a part of that war, people who do not want that war but are made to bear the brunt only because they happen to be in that part of the land at that time. As a sincere Khaled Hosseini fan, I have developed a deep sympathy towards the men, women, and children in those regions. I had high hopes from Nadia Hashimi and “When the Moon is low”. And I was not disappointed.

As the reader is introduced to Fereiba, he/she promptly realizes that life is going to be difficult for this kid who has lost her mother in child birth. Fereiba grows up with a step mother who does not torture her literally but makes sure she realizes that she is not the preferred kid. Fereiba is also not unhappy but wishes to have a normal childhood. She yearns to go to school like her siblings and fantasizes about the fleeting romance of adolescence. Her perseverance did manage to take her to school at the age of 13 but was heart-broken when her sister is chosen over her as a bride by the boy she liked. Just when Fereiba completely gives up on life, Mahmoud comes into the picture along with his mother. While Fereiba finds the true meaning of love in her husband Mahmoud, her mother-in-law gives her glimpse of the motherly love that she always yearned for. With a couple of adorable kids, a doting husband and teaching as a profession, Fereiba could not wish for anything more.

And then comes the war. First, there was Russia and then the “razor-edged religious brutes” called Taliban. Every civilian was robbed of their basic rights and a regime of in-human restrictions was forced upon them. Like every parent, Mahmoud and Fereiba shuddered every time rockets zoomed past their roofs. With heavy hearts, they decide to leave Afghanistan and go to England in hope of a safer life. But before they could materialize their plans, Mahmoud is taken away by the Taliban. And then begins the journey which Fereiba has to undertake on her own with her son Saleem, two young kids and forged papers. When the moon is low is Saleem’s story as much as it is Fereiba’s. Saleem, who is determined and ready to be treated like a man, gets separated from his mother on their way to England and then realizes harsh realities of the refugee world. He encounters evil and hunger, and struggles to stay alive during his journey but also finds love and selfless friendship that keep him floating.

Suffering, terror, longing, perseverance, love, hope and kindness of strangers are beautifully woven into the plot of When the moon is low. This is a book which will want you to skip lunch or keep you awake at night and will leave you craving for more.

My Rating: 

About the Author: Nadia Hashimi was born and raised in New York and New Jersey. Both her parents were born in Afghanistan and left in the early 1970s, before the Soviet invasion.Her upbringing, experiences, and love for reading came together in the form of stories based in the country of her parents and grandparents (some even make guest appearances in her tales!). Her debut novel, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell was released in 2014. Her second novel, When The Moon Is Low, followed in 2015 and chronicled the perilous journey of an Afghan family as they fled Taliban-controlled Kabul and fell into the dark world of Europe's undocumented.(Source: Nadia Hashimi's Website http://nadiahashimi.com/the-author/)

Other Books by the Author: The Pearl That Broke Its Shell (Read the Review)

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