‘Marrying Ameera’ was my first foray into Muslim chick-lit. It was easy to read, well-written and nicely paced. Ameera is someone you like and you care about what happens to her.
The book has 2 distinct halves – Ameera’s life in Australia, at school with her friends, discovering boys and trying to manage her fathers traditional expectations for her with her own more modern ideas. The second half sees Ameera travelling to Pakistan by herself for a family wedding. What she doesn’t know is that her father has organised for the wedding to be hers!
Hawke avoids many of the stereotypes and judgements that can surround Muslim women and their treatment by Islamic fundamentalists. She manages to create complex characters who move between various shades-of-grey dramas. Ameera’s father is the one character drawn with little sympathy. He comes across as the ‘baddie’ with very little understanding of his motivation or fears.
There is a sex-scene & the novel contains some mature themes.
A story of forbidden love and the gulf between cultures, as seen through the eyes of a Pakistani-Australian. Ages 14+
Seventeen-year-old Ameera has just finished school and her friendship with tariq, her best friend’s older brother, is growing. But when her father hears of it he sends Ameera to stay with his family in Kashmir and attend her cousin Jamila’s wedding. Only when she gets there does she discover the devastating truth – the intended marriage is not Jamila’s but her own! Will Ameera be trapped forever, or can she find strength beyond her years to escape from Pakistan and win back her freedom?