First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?
- Pick a book off your shelf and open to the first page
- Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
- Finally… reveal the book!
It had all begun so well, just like how things ended in fairy tales.
The tea shop I shouldn’t be sitting in thinking of fairy tales gone sour was situated in the narrow alleyways of Anarkali Bazaar, named after the slave girl who’d dared to love a Mughal prince. She’d consequently been buries alive in a wall nearby – a convenient and constant reminder to women in Lahore of relationships between love and walls.
Continue to find out which book this extract is from…
Set in Lahore, This House of Clay and Water explores the lives of two women. Nida, intelligent and lonely, has married into an affluent political family and is desperately searching for some meaning in her existence; and impulsive, lovely Sasha, from the ordinary middle-class, whose longing for designer labels and upmarket places is so frantic that she willingly consorts with rich men who can provide them. Nida and Sasha meet at the famous Daata Sahib dargah and connect-their need to understand why their worlds feel so alien and empty, bringing them together.
On her frequent visits to the dargah, Nida meets the gentle, flute-playing hijra Bhanggi, who sits under a bargadh tree and yearns for acceptance and affection, but is invariably shunned. A friendship-fragile, tentative and tender-develops between the two, both exiles within their own lives; but it flies in the face of all convention and cannot be allowed.
Faiqa Mansab’s accomplished and dazzling debut novel explores the themes of love, betrayal and loss in the complex, changing world of today’s Pakistan.
It is a Modern Classic novel that I moved me very much emotionally. The emotions run so high that it moved me to tears! And, that, my friends, is not an easy feat. Read my review here.
If you are looking to read books by People Of Colour, I’d say do not miss out on this one gem.
Have you read this book?
If yes, what did you think of it?
Let me know in the comments!