• Paperback: 416 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (April 26, 2016)
“Expertly depicting the anxiety and excitement that accompanies a new life, Hashimi’s gripping page-turner is perfect for book clubs.”—Library Journal (starred review)
Mahmoud’s passion for his wife Fereiba, a schoolteacher, is greater than any love she’s ever known. But their happy, middle-class world—a life of education, work, and comfort—implodes when their country is engulfed in war, and the Taliban rises to power.
Mahmoud, a civil engineer, becomes a target of the new fundamentalist regime and is murdered. Forced to flee Kabul with her three children, Fereiba has one hope to survive: she must find a way to cross Europe and reach her sister’s family in England. With forged papers and help from kind strangers they meet along the way, Fereiba make a dangerous crossing into Iran under cover of darkness. Exhausted and brokenhearted but undefeated, Fereiba manages to smuggle them as far as Greece. But in a busy market square, their fate takes a frightening turn when her teenage son, Saleem, becomes separated from the rest of the family.
Faced with an impossible choice, Fereiba pushes on with her daughter and baby, while Saleem falls into the shadowy underground network of undocumented Afghans who haunt the streets of Europe’s capitals. Across the continent Fereiba and Saleem struggle to reunite, and ultimately find a place where they can begin to reconstruct their lives.
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi. Thank you to the author, TLC Book Tours and the publisher William Morrow for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review of it.
When the Moon is Low is a work of fiction about a woman who grows up in Kabul. When an oppressive regime comes to power and her husband is killed for defying it, Fereiba makes the difficult decision to leave the life she has known behind her and make the dangerous journey to England with her three children.
I fell in love with the title and the cover for When the Moon is Low almost immediately. They’re both gorgeous but I also instantly knew I wanted to read this book the moment I started reading the description of it. I love reading historical and contemporary fiction set in the Middle East. This book was a special one. I have read a few books where families have fled war torn countries but this one definitely struck a different chord as it was involved a mother and her young children embarking upon what was sure to be a harrowing journey into the unknown.
For me what was super interesting about this book is that it didn’t feel quite like a fictional read, to me it had the feel of a memoir. It just felt so real and I am sure this is because I hear immigration stories like this all the time and I know that something similar to this probably happened or is happening at this very moment.
I loved the writing, it really made Fereiba and her family seem very real to me and reading it felt like I was walking in Fereiba’s footsteps and experiencing what she was experiencing and then later the same happened with Saleem’s perspective. I loved the descriptions of everything in the book, everything just felt very real.
Going into this book I wasn’t sure whether I was going to enjoy it because it was a little slow going for me at the beginning but at some point within the first few chapters I got drawn in and the story picked up. This story was filled with heartbreaking moments but also had its share of heartwarming ones too. It was a definitely a read I enjoyed, but it was also an important one too. It transported me to a different country and culture, into a life that I can’t even imagine. That’s important to me. It put a lot of things into perspective and made me think of life outside of my own, which lets be honest doesn’t sometimes happen since I get so caught up in the shuffle that is everyday life. I am giving this book a four star review, if you like reading books set in the Middle East and women’s fiction, check this book out!
Happy Reading everyone!
About Nadia Hashimi
Nadia Hashimi is a pediatrician of Afghan descent. Both her parents left Afghanistan in the early 1970s and settled in the United States to chase the American dream. Her debut novel, The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, was an international bestseller. She lives with her family in Maryland.