I am delighted to share my review today for The Halfways by Nilopar Uddin. This is a stunning book to read about a family that is spread between New York, Bangladesh, Wales and London.
This is the 8th book on my #20booksofsummer reading challenge. My huge thanks to HQ Stories for acce[pting my request to read and review this title.
Nasrin and Sabrina are two sisters, who on the face of things live successful and enviable lives in London and New York. When their father, Shamsur suddenly dies, they rush to be with their mother at the family home and restaurant in Wales, and reluctantly step back into the stifling world of their childhood.
When Shamsur’s will is read, a devastating secret is revealed that challenges all that people thought and loved about him. It also profoundly changes the lives and identities of the sisters, and creates an irreparable family rift…
Moving between London, Wales, New York and Bangladesh, this is an epic family drama that spans over four decades. A story of mothers and daughters, of fathers and daughters, of sisterhood, it is a tale that explores belonging, family and what makes forgiveness and redemption possible.
This is a wonderful book to read and a first for me by this author. The story is one about differing opinions between family members. The family emigrated from Bangladesh to the Brecon Beacons in Wales. Their father has recently passed away and the sisters Nasrin and Sabrina have returned back to Wales from London and New York.
While the story focuses a lot on the two girls, the author has included other family members and relations. This was a brilliant way of giving different perspectives and it gave a better idea of the opinions other people had. Their parents wanted their girls to live and experience the ways of the West, but even on this, they disagreed as their mother felt they should be more away from their home, religion, culture and heritage of Bangladesh.
The author has created an extremely poignant story of the differences between cultures religions, traditions and expectations. Trying to live your life between two different cultures does bring arguments and disagreements. While both sisters try to be modern and to be more like those around them, they are still aware that their skin is of a different colour. Both have compromised to be more accepted and this is shown through some very heart-breaking scenes.
Getting to know more about family and also the culture was so interesting and the author made it so addictive. The story is deep and moving and does explore the stigmas and perceptions of people, especially those within this family. Backstories are explored for the parents and for several others and this helps build a fuller picture.
I adored this story, it has some fun moments, but it is also very heartbreaking. A gorgeously told story with additional information in the glossary at the end. It is a family in turmoil, one that is struggling and trying to overcome the death of a father and husband and also trying to keep things together. They are trying so hard to keep things going and not everything goes to plan.
This is one for those who love to explore different cultures, religions and lives, contemporary fiction as well as dipping into the past. Addictive reading and one I would definitely recommend.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx