A Place for Us

A Place for Us

A Novel

Book - 2018
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A story of family identity and belonging follows an Indian family through the marriage of their daughter, from the parents' arrival in the United States to the return of their estranged son.
Publisher: New York :, SJP for Hogarth,, [2018]
Edition: First United States edition.
ISBN: 9781524763558
Branch Call Number: FICTION Mirza Fatima
Characteristics: 385 pages ;,25 cm


From Library Staff

This book took us deep into the personal complications of an Indian-American Muslim family and expanded our understanding of this culture.

From the critics

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Jan 12, 2021

A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza; this book is about a Muslim family and their lives. The family consists of a father, a mother, two daughters, and a son. It talks about some of the hardships Muslims faced ever since 9/11 happened and the drama that occurs in the family. You read in this book what happens throughout their lives and how it affected them in their present life. I personally really did enjoy reading this book. I can empathize with the emotions that the characters in this novel presented. Also, I learned more about Muslim families and their culture. I won’t lie, some of the relationships in this book did upset me because I expected closure. But it did help enforce what real-life situations are like in these relationships presented in this book. If you’re a fan of family dramas then you might end up liking this. I think the age range that this could interest most is 13-16. 4.5/5 star rating from my end.

Dec 31, 2020

Laurie recommendation.

Dec 19, 2020

This is definitely a book to put on your "to read" list. It is the story of an immigrant family living in California. The characters are well developed and the story is told from multiple points of view. Family dynamics, cultural norms, racism, the role of women and marriage are all themes in this book.

The story is non-linier which adds depth to the story. Essentially, if you keep a secret from a loved one, it will eventually surface.

Aug 28, 2020

Fatima Farheen Mirza’s debut novel tackles identity, religion, racism, culture, and relationships, particularly familial ones. The narrative unfolds through events not told chronologically, but it all works out in the end when the reflection at the end ties it all together. The novel follows a Muslim Indian-American family and their struggles of belonging, particularly the children as they grow up surrounded by clashing cultures. The novel follows all three children from childhood to adulthood. All the main characters (Layla, Rafiq, Hadia, Huda, and Amar) are wonderfully flawed and complex, making for a raw and authentic story about humanity. Each family member, save for Huda, receives a point of view, allowing one to see how they view family life and the people and relationships in it. It is a family epic like no other that will have even the most apathetic in tears.

Jul 08, 2020

If you like books centered around family dynamics, then this book is for you. Personally, I got sucked into the story and couldn't put the book down. The author does an amazing job pointing out the obvious: just because you were raised in the same household, it doesn't mean your experience was the same. During and after reading this book, I couldn't stop talking about it!

Jun 24, 2020

I had two false starts with this book. I found the beginning very slow. Actually the whole book is slow but if you relax into it, you will get swept up in this family's story. I liked the way the author wove together many common everyday scenes to reveal the bigger story of the family. It's very well done but will not suit people who want a faster pace or a more obvious plot line.

ArapahoeStaff26 Feb 27, 2020

Skillfully builds a complex portrait of a family through telling events and details. We empathize with the characters' emotional pains and joys and as in our own lives ponder motives and consequences. Fascinating to recognize how repression of women places an untenable burden of responsibility on men; and how the fear of failing his family informs much of the father's behavior.

Dec 02, 2019

This book had all the imprints of a best selling novel. The author attended the Iowa Writers Workshop. It was published by a major publisher and included in a celebrity's book club, but I found this book to be poorly written. I thought the author was guilty throughout of telling instead of showing. The characters never seemed 3-dimensional. Above all, the writing was very confusing and hard to follow. She would start a chapter with "he" or "she" and you would have to read almost the whole chapter to figure out which character the author was highlighting. The switching back and forth in time and from different characters points of view was not successful in my opinion. It did not enhance the story, just made it more confusing.

Nov 20, 2019

The format and lack of quotation marks when remembering past conversations is very confusing. However, if you push through the first 100 or so pages, the story grips you and makes you want to keep reading despite the format.

Oct 03, 2019

Filled with beautiful description, this book is an complicated family drama. The last chapter is heartbreaking. Read it.

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ArapahoeStaff26 Feb 27, 2020

I wanted to show her that though she had left her whole life behind, I would care for her spiritual needs as well as any other. pg. 341

I wanted you three to grow with an awareness of G-d, with that order and compass and comfort it provided, safe from the dangers I could not imagine and could not protect you from. pg. 363


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