Saturday, August 17, 2013

Review- My Name Is Parvana by Deborah Ellis

Goodreads Summary:

On a military base in post-Taliban Afghanistan, American authorities have just imprisoned a teenaged girl found in a bombed-out school. The army major thinks she may be a terrorist working with the Taliban. The girl does not respond to questions in any language and remains silent, even when she is threatened, harassed and mistreated over several days. The only clue to her identity is a tattered shoulder bag containing papers that refer to people named Shauzia, Nooria, Leila, Asif, Hassan — and Parvana.

In this long-awaited sequel to The Breadwinner Trilogy, Parvana is now fifteen years old. As she waits for foreign military forces to determine her fate, she remembers the past four years of her life. Reunited with her mother and sisters, she has been living in a village where her mother has finally managed to open a school for girls. But even though the Taliban has been driven from the government, the country is still at war, and many continue to view the education and freedom of girls and women with suspicion and fear.

As her family settles into the routine of running the school, Parvana, a bit to her surprise, finds herself restless and bored. She even thinks of running away. But when local men threaten the school and her family, she must draw on every ounce of bravery and resilience she possesses to survive the disaster that kills her mother, destroys the school, and puts her own life in jeopardy.

A riveting page-turner, Deborah Ellis’s new novel is at once harrowing, inspiring and thought-provoking. And, yes, in the end, Parvana is reunited with her childhood friend, Shauzia.


*NOTE: We (The Readdicts) received a copy of My Name Is Parvana by author Deborah Ellis from Hachette India in exchange for an honest review. We thank the publishing house for the book! 

I have read, been moved by and loved many books set in Afghanistan and Pakistan. I've had a growing admiration and I feel a deep connection with stories set in these two beautiful countries. There's something utterly glorious and impressive about books that are based on the downright stronghold of humanity. 
I have never ever tried to review said read books simply because it's difficult to put into words the sheer beauty of them. 
My Name Is Parvana, however, needs to be reviewed and I only hope that my words are able to do it justice. 
This book by Deborah Ellis is actually a sequel to the author's The Breadwinner Trilogy which I haven't read but I'm definitely going to keep an eye out on to read sometime simply because Deborah Ellis writes beautifully. 
Parvana is a girl from Kabul who is forced to move away from the capital of Afghanistan and her home city after the Taliban take over the country. Along with her ex-journalist mother and her sisters, who take with them their brothers and a few kids they give shelter to, these brave women start a school for girls, a first and one of it's kind establishment in the country. When the school is attacked by foreign military, Parvana finds herself in prison, under the watchful eye and scrutiny of foreign officers. 
Parvana was, by far, the bravest girl I have read about. She does whatnot for the safety of everyone. 
I loved how Parvana let her silence make her imagination run wild and how she gave immense importance to reading and writing. She was a brilliant, brave and beautiful human being. 
Although this book did not move me as deeply as most other books set in similar backgrounds have, it has still had an impact on me. I am not going to forget Parvana and her incredible story of courage for a very long time to come. It's going to be very close to my heart. My Name Is Parvana is beyond just a good read. It is a really really good read. 
And before ending, I must share this beautiful poem that Parvana, when she herself is captured, writes to a soldier feeling low... 

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramps;
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

-Dorothy Parker



  1. I have read only few books set in Afghanistan and Pakistan and most of them were written by Haled Hoseini. I haven't heard of this one but it sounds heartbreaking. I'm so glad you enjoyed and lovely review Sarika :)

    1. Khaled Hosseini. :P Hahaha! Anyways, this really was a good read, Tanja. Thank you!

  2. Yes Sarika, your words do do it justice!! I bet this was an awfully moving read. And Parvana sounds brave indeed!

    1. It is and she is too. Thank you so much, Aylee! :)

  3. Hey what's up guys


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