Book Review: A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza 

Book Review_ A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza: Do you like reading novels that depict family dynamics? Also, the family story about faith bonds with some added spices of that family drama and some sweetness of love for one another? Then here I am coming to you with a book review of the novel “A place for us by Fatima Farheen Mirza” tells a story of an Indian Muslim immigrant family living between traditional and modern values.

A place for us Unfolds the lives of Indian American Muslim family gathered together in California hometown to celebrate their eldest daughter’s wedding. The parents emigrated to the USA from India, working out with their children’s choices, struggling to raise their children. It begins when the youngest son, Amar, returns home to attend his sister’s wedding after running away three years ago.

The story is based on the Muslim family’s integration of this family into American society. A book addresses the struggles between tradition and self-fulfilment expectations with the burden of disappointment. But on the other hand, it addresses love, compassion and forgiveness. It’s an exciting read to figure out what happened to families that immigrated to the US from one generation to the next. You will also see the relationship of family members with each other.

As you start to peel away the layers and dig inside the story, you explore many new things, so without holding back your Curiosity, let’s move to the overview. 

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza | Book Review

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza Quotes


Fatima Farheen Mirza 

Fatima Farheen Mirza is the best selling novelist of A Place For Us. She was born and raised in California, United States. She was born in an Indian Muslim family, whereas her father grew up in Hyderabad, India and her mother is a British Indian family in Birmingham. She is a graduate of the Iowa writers’ workshop, a teaching-writing fellow. Mirza says that she first had the idea for the book when she was 18. A Place For Us is Sarah Jessica Parker’s new imprint for Hogarth is her first novel.

Overview | A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

A Place For Us is a debut domestic fiction Novel by Fatima Farheen Mirza, Published in New York on 12 June 2018. The novel is an instant New York Times bestseller and featured as one of the best books of 2018 by NPR, Refinery29, Buzzfeed, Parade and The Washington Post. The book was awarded the National Book award, Nominee “5 under 35” and New York’s “One Book, One New York” pick. A Place For Us winner of New York Times bestseller and USA Today’s bestseller in 2018.

What does the title “A Place For Us” signify? The title indicates an awareness that the family is like a kind of impossible situation where their wants, needs and hopes for their own lives cannot exist side by side without conflict. But the title delivers a hopeful sense that maybe there is a place for us where we can come together.

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza shows the life of a Californian family off two Indian Muslim immigrants and their three American born children. It explores tension within a devout Muslim family in California around the 21st century. It bounces back and forth from the past to the present and is told through multiple perspectives of the characters.

Who is the main character? The story follows Amar, the main focus of the novel, one of the narrators, the youngest son of Layla and Rafiq and the only boy in the family. Throughout the book, he struggles to define who he is and the emotional confusion he faces. He works to find his place in his family because he feels like he is looking at his family from an outsider’s view.

Rafiq is described as cold and slow to reveal emotion. He is a strict father who is sometimes quite hard on his children. Rafiq and his newlywed wife Layla migrated to America. Layla is a soft-hearted mother and has a special connection with Amar.

Amar sisters Hadia and Huda grew up in Northern California. Hadia is one of the four main characters, and her wedding is one of the central movements throughout the book. Amar is so

Summary | A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

A place for us opens at the eldest daughter, Hudia’s wedding. It’s a love marriage rather than a tradition. On the wedding day, Amar, the youngest of the siblings, returns for the first time to reconnect with his family after three years. Why did he run away? Or what does it mean that he comes home? So from here, the novel will show you the moment in the family’s past and the answer to why Amar left?

Then the book gives you insight into this Indian American Muslim family living in the bay area. The story provides you with the traces of the parent’s path Layla and Rafiq with their arranged marriage, immigration to America from India, to the three children’s childhood up till the present, struggling with the choices and betrayals that lead to their son’s differences. Parents are trying to pass on their traditions and culture to their children as they struggle to balance the place they are in and the home they came from. 

A place for us is an extraordinary, kind-hearted novel of identity, belonging and a profound image of being an American family today. It examines what it means to be both American and Muslim struggling with traditional and cultural.

What to take away from the book?

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza Cover image
Source: The Book Satchel

A place for us is an intensely moving and profound story of identity, belonging and love. The novel takes you to experience a family life from the beginning. That’s how they form the relationship that puts them together, to the dissimilarity that drags them away. All the family drama is here, from trying to figure out the identity as separate from your family, to the struggle parents faced in the year when their children are growing up in two cultures, looking for their place in the world with a path for home.

The characters are gracefully written, in the sense that they have ups and downs in their lives, with a remarkable realisation of how people react in their worst and best times. You will learn many valuable things from this novel. You will find out the relationship between the characters particularly feels like an actual lesson. Also, explore the heartbreaking situation that will harden your approach of viewing the situation instead of softening.

Her writing is gorgeous, written in such an impressive way that keeps you turning the page in combination with some learnable lessons like forgiveness, love, compassion and what makes families that they are. 

What’s my take on the book?

This book covers sibling dynamics to parenting choices, and the influence of race and religion. In the book, you’ll get a close look at the interpersonal relationship of this family, how the parents meet, how the siblings interact with each other and all their individual lives. You get a pretty good sense of why Amar is estranged from his family through all of that. 

I love the multiple perspectives, the story in many fascinating manners, as you know, every family has a story. In the family, every character has its way of looking at the story. Through all these viewpoints, it becomes clear for the reader to dive into the movement. It explores the family history with different memories, also the decision that each character made. I must appreciate the work of putting drama with shifting narration. That works well here. 

Rating for the book | A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

A place for us by Fatima Farheen Mirza earned 4 out of 5 stars from me.

Conclusion & Recommendations | A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

Suppose you want to understand what life in Muslim conservation families might look like. In that case, it’s an excellent place to start from, or if you love to overdramatise family’s stories, then it’s also a place for you to go and enjoy reading.

After reading, at the end of the novel, you will realise that every family is going through something, and every family has issues no matter which religion or country. So the story makes you come close to your heart at the end of the reading

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