My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Ella is the adopted daughter of Anwar and Hashi Saleem. The Saleem's took her in when her parents were murdered. They also have a daughter of their own named Chauru. They all live together in Brooklyn, New York, where Anwar is the owner of an apothecary(Pharmacy) and Hashi has a salon in their home. This is the only family that Ella has ever known. Although she has never really felt as a part of them, she was never treated as an outcast and never referred to as niece or cousin. The summer after her first year at college, Ella returns home to find things in a bit of disarray. There is a strange girl in her bed, her cousin/sister, Chauru, is sneaking boys into her room, her uncle is distant and her aunt, is constantly busy with customers during the wedding season. When a devastating event takes place, the family travels back to their home country of Bangladesh and they all learn important lessons about themselves and family.
This book took me through a lot of different emotions. First the story started off slowly and I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. There were parts that had me confused and parts that had me shocked. Once I made it to the halfway point, it was hard to put it down.
This is a debut novel by Tanwi Nandini Islam. I love books that take me to a place I have never been. This book gave me a look into a world that I may not have ever discovered. Spanning the globe to help the Saleem's to learn to love one another and others. To learn about their history so they aren't doomed to repeat it in their future. Learning about family and loss and how to pull together when you have to. How to survive when you think it's impossible. This is a novel about discovery and family and learning to find yourself through your history.
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher, PENGUIN, through their First To Read program in exchange for my honest review.**
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