Mimi is dismayed when she discover her summer plans have been railroaded by her mum, who has decided they must go to Karachi to stay with the grandparents she has never met. Confused and disorientated she confesses all her feelings to her new journal which she is desperate to share with her long-absent father who she is determined to track down. Everything seems strange and unsure and when she meets the daughter’s cook Sakina she is shocked to discover how privileged her life is in comparison. But Sakina is hiding a secret too, she dreams of going to school but is afraid to tell her parents knowing they can’t afford to lose her wages. Despite their differences the girls strike up an unlikely friendship and by working together they might just find the one thing they truly desire.
This is such wonderful and heartfelt story that totally delighted me with it’s thoughtful storytelling. I love seeing this story unfold from two very different perspectives and see how Mimi and Sakina perceive each other and how they both live. The reader is transported to Pakistan through evocative descriptions of Karachi which stimulate all of your senses as Mimi discovers this world her mum grew up in. From the unbearable heat to the spicy food, we watch Mimi as she tries to navigate this new world. This contrasts perfectly with seeing Mimi and her culture through Sakina’s eyes, who is shocked by her casual behaviour and seeming disrespect to her elders and her fondness for inappropriate t-shirts with bizarre slogans. The way their bond develops feels natural and the reader watches as they become closer and both discover they do have things in common. It feels realistic without being overly sentimental allowing you to feel like you have had an authentic insight into the girl’s lives. A completely joyful tale of family, friendship and finding your place in the world.
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Thank you to Saadia for inviting me to join the blog tour and to Harper Collins for sending me a gifted copy of the book. ‘A Thousand Questions,’ is available to buy online or from any local bookshop. If you can please support your local independent bookshop you can find your nearest one here.