I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for No Honour today. My review is written with thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on the tour.
In sixteen-year-old Abida’s small Pakistani village, there are age-old rules to live by, and her family’s honour to protect. And, yet, her spirit is defiant and she yearns to make a home with the man she loves.
When the unthinkable happens, Abida faces the same fate as other young girls who have chosen unacceptable alliances – certain, public death. Fired by a fierce determination to resist everything she knows to be wrong about the society into which she was born, and aided by her devoted father, Jamil, who puts his own life on the line to help her, she escapes to Lahore and then disappears.
Jamil goes to Lahore in search of Abida – a city where the prejudices that dominate their village take on a new and horrifying form – and father and daughter are caught in a world from which they may never escape.
Moving from the depths of rural Pakistan, riddled with poverty and religious fervour, to the dangerous streets of over-populated Lahore, No Honour is a story of family, of the indomitable spirit of love in its many forms … a story of courage and resilience, when all seems lost, and the inextinguishable fire that lights one young woman’s battle for change.
I’m genuinely struggling to write this review because I have no idea how to do No Honour justice. It is beautifully written, but there is no extra flowery language. Every word Khan uses is chosen with care for maximum impact and what an impact it was. I hadn’t read the blurb before I started reading, but expected the novel to start with a general setting of the scene, maybe a bit of description about the characters, things to ease the reader in gently. No. We are punched right between the eyes straight away with a really emotional scene that leaves the reader in no doubt that they’re not here for an easy time – however brilliant the novel might be.
I’m ashamed to admit that I was relatively unaware of the way women are treated in Pakistan and I wasn’t very knowledgeable on the subject of honour killing. No Honour is incredibly eye opening. I cried from about a third of the way in until the very end, such was the extent that I was touched by Abida’s story.
The characters in No Honour are the kind of characters who really speak to the reader. There were some characters who were so horrendous that I squirmed as I read about them, and others that I really hoped would come through the other side of their difficult times. It is this ability that Khan has to make me really invest in the characters that kept me engaged, wondering how everything would turn out.
As the novel reaches the end, there is a huge amount of tension and I really hoped for a positive outcome for Abida and her family. I was holding my breath as I was reading as they placed themselves in danger.
I cannot recommend No Honour highly enough.
No Honour is available from Amazon.
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