Thursday, November 16, 2006

Book Review: Daughter of the Wind

Title: Daughter of the Wind
Author: Suzanne Fisher Staples
Age Suitability: Young adult

I borrowed this book from the library in my quest to find "living" geography books and skimmed through to see whether it would be suitable to read to Angel. It isn't. It is too mature in content, both in certain specifics and overall. There are references to childbirth, miscarriage, physical changes at puberty and attempted abduction, all of which are "older" than I would choose to read to her. The book is set among the nomads of the Cholistan Desert in Pakistan, and the plot hinges on the arranged marriages of the main character Shabanu and her sister, Phulan. Gloria Whelan's Homeless Bird also tackled arranged marriage, but in a much gentler way. This book is quite gritty. Although I didn't read it in its entirety I was gripped by what I read - enough so to go back and read sections to fill in bits of the plot. The author is a former press correspondent in Asia who writes of what she knows and writes well. It isn't a comfortable culture, particularly for girls, and the book is not a comfortable read. Worth considering for young adults, but not suitable for younger children.

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