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A Place for Us
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
The first novel by SJP for Hogarth, A Place For Us is a deeply moving and resonant story for our times: a masterful novel of love, identity and belonging A Place For Us unfolds the lives of an Indian-American Muslim family, gathered together in their Californian hometown to celebrate the eldest daughter, Hadias, 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 sons 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.
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Tamra
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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Pickpick

Fatima manages to cover a lot of contemporary issues and one that she adeptly covers is the impact of addiction on family without it getting tedious and repetitive. I loved the shifts in POV for that reason and the narration was well done. I will buy this in print and reread it if I run across it used.

Ruthiella I‘m hearing so many great things about this book! I‘ve put it on my library holds list and stacked it.😀 1w
Tamra @Ruthiella I hope you enjoy it too! 👌🏾 1w
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EmilyM
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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Pickpick

While I enjoyed the book for the most part, I didn't like the non-linear plot. Maybe that is because I just read another book in the same vein, I don't know. If the author would have titled the sections with dates, I think I would have not been as annoyed. The best, most touching part was the last section, told from the father to his estranged, grown son. Despite the problem with plot, I still recommend this book. ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

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derr.liz
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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Home made samosas and mango lassi for the office book club today. I loved following the personal journey of each character in this beautiful story.

"And let me always feel that this life is mine, experience it proudly, fully, and ever alive."

#upgloreads

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LauraRenae
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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Pickpick

A very quiet book that snuck up on me. Beginning 2/3 was frustratingly slow but was written as if recalling memories - so uniquely wonderful. And that last part! 💔The writer is talented in her ability to write such a deceptively simple read. #ATY2019 #favorites

Rachel_nyc This is one of my favorite reads so far this year. The author really nailed the dynamics of family relationships. Can‘t wait to see what she does next. 3w
16 likes1 stack add1 comment
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suzisteffen
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
Pickpick

A nearly operatic début, if opera focuses on the intimacies of one family in one Shia Indian community in California - and I think it could. The personal connections, betrayals, memories, everything built from tenuous moments and the constant interrogation of what really happened and the layers of who did what, not to mention the various losses each person in the five-person family sustains - it's a good one, veering toward great.

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sammisho
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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Pickpick

As a parent, I really enjoyed this book. I related to the parents of this family, trying to do the best they can for their children. This story is not told linear, but rather is memories, which jumped from different time periods. This was hard to follow at first, but once I got over that, I found the story to be engaging and heart touching.
#readingwomen

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suzisteffen
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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And due at the library on the 24th ... this novel!

alisonrose My favorite of the year so far 💜 1mo
suzisteffen @alisonrose !!! no pressure, book 😂 1mo
alisonrose @suzisteffen 😬😬😬 1mo
18 likes3 comments
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Abailliekaras
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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Pickpick

A beautiful novel about a Muslim family in California. I loved the writing - full of rich details & observations of family dynamics but not overwritten. The characters are complex: your sympathies change, but she shows compassion for them throughout. The dialogue rings true & relationships between siblings & parents, & tensions with their faith, are achingly real. I loved the intricacy & felt I knew the characters. A moving experience.

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perfectlywinged
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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Pickpick

Loved this slow family drama about an Indian American family. It starts off at the daughter Hadia‘s wedding: we can see her brother Amar is an outcast from the family and the rest of the book explores the intricacies of how that happened.

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Blaire
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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Pickpick

A bit slow in places but overcome by the powerful portrait of the relationship between the parents and children in a religious Muslim family. Questions of how much responsibility parents have for who their children become. The father‘s evolution brought me to tears. I also learned a lot about the practice of Islam. Looking forward to discussing this at family bookclub. #muslimmc #familybookclub

ChasingOm I love that you have a family bookclub! 2mo
ReadingOverSleeping Family book club is awesome!! Stealing, if they cooperate 😁😂 2mo
Reggie The part where the dad tells the grandson what to say on the phone....😭😭😭 2mo
Blaire @Reggie yes! And that conversation with him at the wedding. First book that‘s made me cry in a while. 2mo
Blaire @ChasingOm @readingoversleeping I highly recommend it. Mine is my mom, grandma, sister, and me. We do the discussion by video chat. It‘s nice to get the inter generational perspective and gives us more to talk about than family news. 2mo
56 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Blaire
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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Enjoying a quiet Saturday morning read. The scenes between Amar and his father are heart-breaking. Didn‘t expect to be so moved.

Crazeedi I love your reading area! Your view is lovely! 2mo
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Blaire
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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Another beautiful evening for reading on the deck. Digging into the tagged book for my family book club. Starting to get intriguing. Happy weekend! #familybookclub #shabbatreads #tgif #downphoto

Jerdencon Pretty! 2mo
Chelsea.Poole Gorgeous! 🍷 2mo
RealLifeReading Nice view! 2mo
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Bookwormjillk Love that book. Perfect for a family book club 2mo
Crazeedi Beautiful view!! 2mo
Kaylamburson This would be a great #downphoto! 2mo
BarbaraBB That view! Is that your home or are you vacationing? 2mo
Cathythoughts I always love your view ... beautiful 2mo
LeahBergen Wow. That‘s beautiful. 2mo
Blaire @Jerdencon @Chelsea.Poole @RealLifeReading thanks!! My favorite reading spot. 💕 2mo
Blaire @Bookwormjillk good to hear! Looking forward to hearing my fam‘s thoughts. It‘s nice to get feedback from different generations. 2mo
Blaire @Crazeedi @barbarabb @Cathythoughts thanks! It never gets old. @barbarabb it‘s the view from my front deck! 2mo
Blaire @LeahBergen thank you! We‘ve had some lovely nights this summer. 2mo
Blaire @Kaylamburson thanks! I‘ll tag it litsy! 2mo
Cathythoughts I‘m the same ... we live by the river ... it never gets old & never gets taken for granted. My husband says daily with amazement... ( after 25 years ) Look where we live !! We are so lucky .... You & yours / & me & mine 👍🏻♥️ (edited) 2mo
Blaire @Cathythoughts yes! 💕 so nice to have access to daily beauty. 2mo
Blaire @Kaylamburson thanks for suggesting I submit it for a #downphoto...it was one of the ones selected! 2mo
Kaylamburson That's amazing!! Congrats! So glad I could play a part! 2mo
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Squidonland
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza

When I was a young boy, I had taken a magazine from the store. When he saw I had walked out holding it he struck me on my face so hard my ears began to ring. I did not remember if I had taken it on purpose or if I had forgotten I was holding it, but when I touched my hand against my burning face, I hoped I had taken it intentionally, so that I would be deserving of the punishment and saved from hurt that my father had assumed the worst in me.

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Squidonland
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza

If we, just humans and entirely limited in our thinking, could think to break resources into smaller pieces so our children could feel the joy of scattering slices a little longer, then what generosity was our creator not capable of?

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Squidonland
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza

Perhaps in wanting to impart fear of God and therefore adherence to His laws, I had not done enough to show you the side of God who was, above all, merciful.

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Squidonland
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza

It was the way I wanted to move through the world. I had a beard, a modest one. I had my face. I had my name with the hard ending. That was my fight: to continue to do little things for people around me, so that no one would find fault in my demeanour and misattribute it to my religion.

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Squidonland
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza

She had tried, hadn‘t she? She has tried her best. Her intentions were good, were they not? It was hardly a comfort now. Intentions shrank next to actions. Actions took on their own momentum.

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Squidonland
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza

A punishment was a mercy. It marked the end of a sentence. Without one, he could not imagine recovering from his shame. Nor could he forgive himself for giving action to the hatred he had felt for his father, wanting to hurt him the way he had been hurt by him.

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Squidonland
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza

“Afsoos” was the word in Urdu. There was no equivalent word in English. It was a specific kind of regret - not wishing he had acted differently, but a helpless sadness at the situation as it was, a sense that it could not have been another way.

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Squidonland
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza

How unlucky that one person has the power to determine the shape of another‘s life. He could laugh about it. Please, she is saying, say something, I don‘t have much time. But there is nothing he can think to say, and it occurs to him that it is the one who loves less who has the privilege of being able to express their feelings easily and at all.

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Squidonland
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza

She thinks of how odd it is to experience a secret loss. A loss without a name. The loss of a potential version of her life. Of what she never had, and now never will. The realisation that, in her own small and sustained way, she had loved someone for years that she only looked at in glimpses, only spoken to in passing, only thought of in secret, only ever touched when they passed a cup of lassi or a stick of gum between them.

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Squidonland
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza

She refuses to add to his awareness of the effect he has on girls, refuses to speak out loud her thoughts on the matter - she has not even told Huda, with whom she shares everything. To speak of it would be to lessen what she is beginning to feel.

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Squidonland
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza

A heavier silence ensued, both now painfully aware that they still shared a language they should have long since forgotten.

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MelissaSue81
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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#thursdaysurvey
1)A Place for Us, with Ask Again, Yes a close second
2)The 100 year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared.
3)I‘ve got quite a list of new releases I‘m excited about.. City of Girls, Giver of Stars..
4) 200 books is my goal but I‘m on pace for around 250
5) all the friends!! @laurenslibrary

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MEGR
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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Pickpick

I loved this book. I almost put it down in the first three chapters because I wasn‘t interested, but I am glad I didn‘t. It is beautifully written and by the end you can see how well thought out it was. I learned many beautiful things about the Muslim faith as well as how a family can love each other even in the face of addiction. A definite pick!

Reggie Nice review. It made me want to go learn more about the Muslim faith and their stories. 3mo
MEGR Yes! I didn‘t know very much to be honest, but since each character in this book views religion differently you get what seems like a rounded, touching, intimate view of the Muslim faith. 3mo
9 likes2 comments
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MEGR
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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It was dark and it was quiet and I was alone there. I could hear the beat of my own heart and it sounded like an animal inside my chest.”

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MEGR
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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“But I have looked up at this sky since I was a child and I have always been stirred, in the most secret depth of me that I alone cannot access, Andorra that is not the soul awakening to the majesty of my creator then what is?”

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MEGR
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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“If we, just humans and entirely limited in our thinking, could break resources into smaller pieces so our children could feel the joy of scattering slices a little longer, then what generosity was our creator not capable of?”

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MEGR
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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”I was caught between thinking the world was changing around me and I was a changed man in it, or believing that nothing had changed, least of all my resolve to wave and smile at the neighbors.”

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MEGR
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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“And how miraculous it is to me that we receive in this world the very things we need from it, how tonight it is another stranger who has stepped forward to play that same part, help me get through this night until morning.”

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MEGR
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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“Maybe it was the exceptions we made for one another that brought God more pride then when we stood firm, maybe His heart opened when His creations opened their hearts to one another..”

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MEGR
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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“Be careful who you point the blame at...remember that anytime you point your finger to accuse someone, there are three fingers beneath it, curled to point right back at you.”

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MEGR
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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“Layla had begun to think lately that there was no real way to quantify the goodness of a person— that religion gave templates and guidelines but there were ways that it missed the mark entirely.”

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MEGR
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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“Let this moment make it, she prays, let each of them remember it too.”

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MEGR
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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“How many times has she stood, as she is standing now, and looked at her children as she is watching them now? A way of seeing that magnifies her attention, deepens her love at the sight of them, and she notices them in a way she otherwise might not, the way the sunlight goldens the profile of their faces, the way Hadia scratches at her nose, adjusts her scarf that always looks a little big on her.”

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MEGR
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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“It was exactly what she had wanted to hear but now that she has heard it she only wants to cry.”

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Cathythoughts
A Place for Us | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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Bailedbailed

I started this last night & I really wanted to like for #Booked2019 but, I‘m finding it very slow & I don‘t mind that so much as the writing isn‘t holding me. I feel guilty about bailing #unpopularopinion as I know this book is so well loved. But life is too short , I will continue my search for #MuslimAuthorOrMC

Reggie Yeah, this one is kinda becoming Love it or bail. 3mo
Cathythoughts @Reggie I did find it interesting to live with this family & to learn their ways ... that is a positive I will take away... ( I wasn‘t really connecting with the characters though 3mo
TrishB I love the different opinions! 3mo
Cathythoughts @TrishB I know ! Me too 3mo
47 likes1 stack add4 comments
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MEGR
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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“From Him we are and to Him we return. A phrase recited in Arabic when hearing of someone‘s death. Surely there is evidence for the line present in all aspects of life, not just in the face of death. This house, this table, this teacup she sips from, who is to say one day it might not all be taken? Our children‘s are not our own as our lives are not our own. All are a loan from God, His temporary gift.”

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MEGR
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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“And nothing compares to the promise of stepping into a classroom knowing she would step out a different person. That she could learn something that would change the way she saw the whole world, and her place in it.”

SassyBookworm Beautiful photo!!! 3mo
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MelissaSue81
A Place for Us | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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Pickpick

Wow!! I think this is my favorite book of the year so far. Just gorgeous and heart wrenching. I don‘t even have the words to describe it. #readingwomenchallenge #readingwomenshortlist

75 likes4 stack adds
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Reggie
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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Pickpick

I was absolutely gutted by this beautifully written, many layered book about an American family who is Indian-Muslim. About the struggles families have concerning the preservation of family, tradition, and culture versus the self. Rafiq and Layla raise their kids Hadia, Huda, and Amar, the best they can and as we all know, no one can ever really know how things will turn out with your kids. Pick!

JennyM This was a beautiful read. It‘s stayed with me ♥️ 3mo
Reggie @JennyM I had to put it down sometimes and let out a breath I didn‘t know I was holding in. So good. 3mo
TrishB I see I have already stacked! 3mo
See All 13 Comments
Reggie @TrishB I think you‘d like it! 3mo
Cathythoughts I have this one on kindle 👍🏻♥️looking forward to it 3mo
TrishB It‘s on my waiting for an offer list! 3mo
Reggie @Cathythoughts have a box of tissues handy. 3mo
Cathythoughts @Reggie I will ♥️. I‘m going to read it for #Booked2019 #MuslimAuthororMC 3mo
DivineDiana I see that I have already stacked it. 🙂 3mo
BooknerdsLife Beautiful review 👏🏼💙 Its in my TBR & can‘t wait to read it soon 3mo
Reggie @BooknerdsLife Thank you! I hope it works for you! 3mo
Cinfhen On my Kindle!!! Looking forward to reading it~ great choice @Cathythoughts 3mo
Reggie @Cinfhen it‘s been interesting to see the different reactions to this book. Hope you like it! 3mo
89 likes9 stack adds13 comments
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MelissaSue81
A Place for Us | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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It‘s gorgeous outside but I have sooo much housework and laundry to get done.. so hopefully this audiobook will help me power through some of it.

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MEGR
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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😭

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alisonrose
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
Pickpick

One of the most truly & deeply moving books I‘ve read. I don‘t cry easily over books but was def tearing up at the end of this. I came to care so much about this family, even when they behaved poorly or aggravated me. I know some ppl struggled w/the flashbacks that jumped around a lot but I thought it worked perfectly for the story she was telling, made it feel more conversational. Poignant & universal, one I‘ll think about for a long time. 5/5 🌟

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alisonrose
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza

She steps into the water and is surprised not only by how cold it is, but also how refreshing. She looks down at her feet that appear contorted. She chooses each stone carefully and thinks: this is what it is to be alive. This is what being alive can be like. [...] The stones are smooth beneath her feet. The current both insistent and relenting. This is a moment that lifts and becomes a memory even as it is happening.

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LaLove
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
Pickpick

One of the best books I‘ve read since Homegoing. Deep and thoughtful but easy to read. Such a study in culture and family.

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Kboltz
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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Pickpick

Waited for this in paperback and it was worth the wait. I loved this book. I teach students from many countries and this book gave me some family insight into the family life of our Muslim friends. Great family dynamics that are written in the voice of every family member. Good pick Sarah Jessica Parker!

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alisonrose
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza
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alisonrose
A Place for Us: A Novel | Fatima Farheen Mirza

“Khudahafiz,” he says, which is good-bye, but literally it means in God‘s protection I leave you. In His care I trust. And it is that meaning she intends when she responds in kind.