Thursday, October 14, 2021

House of Glass Hearts by Leila Siddiqui

Maera and her ammi never talk about the Past, a place where they've banished their family's heartache and grief forever. They especially never mention the night Maera's older brother Asad disappeared from her naana's house in Karachi ten years ago. But when her grandfather dies and his derelict greenhouse appears in her backyard from thousands of miles away, Maera is forced to confront the horrors of her grandfather's past. To find out what happened to her brother, she must face the keepers of her family's secrets-the monsters that live inside her grandfather's mysterious house of glass.

Seamlessly blending history with myth, HOUSE OF GLASS HEARTS follows a Pakistani-American teen's ruthless quest to find her missing sibling, even if the truth would reveal her grandfather's devastating secret and tear her family apart. In a narrative that switches between colonial India and present-day America, this ambitious debut explores how the horrors of the past continue to shape the lives of South Asians around the world.

Paperback, 273 pages
Published: September 30, 2021
by Yali Books
3.5/5 stars

I was attracted to this book because of the Pakistani setting.  My son lived there for 4 years and it's where his wife was born.

Told from 2 different POVs it alternated between the present and the past, 1947 to be exact.  It was the backstory that grabbed my attention, while I knew 1947 was when the British left India to their own devices I didn't know about the bloodshed that ensued.  This lead to many discussions with my son and googling lots.  I love it when a book does that.

For me this book got off to a slow start. While I am familiar with the odd Urdu word I found myself looking up the meaning of words and other times I would guess.  Hopefully the finished book will have a glossary.  I also felt that I needed to know some of the history before hand.  The last half kept me captivated in colonial India, more of that would have been nice and a little less of the present day story.

My thanks to Yali Books for a print ARC in exchange for an honest review.  This book has released and available for purchase now in various formats.

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