A Place for Us

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 12 Sep 2018

Member Reviews

Review published on Booklover Book Reviews website: http://bookloverbookreviews.com/2018/06/a-place-for-us-by-fatima-farheen-mirza-book-review.html
Was this review helpful?
One of the best books I have ever read. I found myself highlighting full pages. The writing was utterly beautiful. My favorite thing about the book was the structure of the scenes. The sections jumped around to different times/ages of the characters almost randomly. At first, I wasn't sure why it felt so haphazard...but as the story went on it made perfect sense in how we the reader got to see certain events or conversations from childhood come to play later in their life...this is hard to explain but basically...the structure was unique. I cared deeply for the characters and found myself laughing and crying with them.
Was this review helpful?

5 stars to A Place for Us, an emotionally-evocative and profound story of family and belonging! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I read A Place for Us with the Traveling Sisters, a wonderful group of avid readers here on Goodreads. I was the lone straggler, coming in with my thoughts late on this book, and while I wish I had been able to discuss more throughout reading, I felt such an intense connection to this book, I needed time to process. It was a total pleasure to read this with my sisters and an absolute honor to be chosen by Crown/SJP for Hogarth to receive physical copies for review!

A Place for Us is the story of an Indian-American Muslim family living in California. At the opening, the family has come...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
This powerful debut novel examines the complicated dynamics within an Indian-American Muslim family living in California, from each perspective, over decades of their lives. Non-linear storytelling slowly builds an intricate web of relationships and emotional history. Just like real families, their story is messy and difficult and tugs at the heartstrings. This book isn't for readers who prefer plot-driven, fast paced stories. Instead, it's for readers that are patient, and want to see characters develop and grow overtime, and see how complicated family relationships affect our lives.
Was this review helpful?

Every once in a while I read a debut novel that is so perfect because it’s everything I want - beautifully written with characters that have you caring about them from the beginning and a story that will not easily be forgotten. This is one of them. You might read reviews of this book both on Goodreads and in the press and see words like stunning, beautiful, powerful and I wish I could be more original and find some different words but I can only say that this book is all of those things. This is a story of an Indian Muslim family living in California, and of course, it is in so many ways about cultural traditions, religious beliefs, but at its core it is a story of a family, how much they...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
I've read only about one quarter of this book so far, but that was enough for me to go out and buy a hardcover copy.  This is a wonderful book about family, finding your identity, honoring family traditions and choosing to make independent decisions. It would be a good pick for discussion
Was this review helpful?

This is a beautiful book, both visually and in it's content. It’s a slow burn, a quiet novel with such beautifully expressed thoughts that it would be impossible to read without being deeply affected. I’m in awe that this is a debut novel of a 26-year-old author. Believe all the hype and glowing reviews – this book is deserving of all of it.

The book opens in California with the wedding of Hadia, the eldest of 3 siblings in an Indian-American Muslim family. The estranged brother, Amar, surprisingly attends and stirs up deep-seated complicated family relationships. It is clear something has happened in this family to create a rift, and the reasons are slowly revealed as the story...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

Norma and I read A Place For Us with 15 of our Traveling Sisters. Right from the very first mention of reading this book we were excited and had no idea the incredible reading experience that awaited for us. With a few sisters who mostly stick to thrillers and were a little hesitant at first as this was not their normal read we all dived in together and were immediately drawn into this family and story.

I will not be able to beautifully put my thoughts together or write a review as beautiful as my Traveling Sisters have with their reviews but I am going to try by sharing from my heart how much this story touched us and how it made us feel.

Sometimes a book hits in ways you don’t expect...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
I received an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review. 

This was a verydifficult book to get through. I had to invest a lot of time with each of these characters and their family history, and feel all of their pain, before the story started to pay off. But I’m glad I stuck it out. Gut wrenching
Was this review helpful?

My reviews can be found at: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...

"There were many ways of breaking a heart. Stories were full of hearts being broken by love, but what really broke a heart was taking away its dream-whatever that dream might be. (Pearl Buck)"

A family, a faith, a country, customs, and traditions all combine to make this book an outstanding piece of literature. This is a story that will break your heart so many times in so many ways. "I don't know why they call it heartbreak. It feels like every other part of my body is broken too."

A story begins, a wedding, and a new life start, and a tragic child grown to manhood suffers and a family that has...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza is a complex, intense and layered family drama full of emotional conflicts, everyday struggles and simple joys. An endearing and heartfelt saga that spans decades, it is bound to leave a mark on its readers.

The story revolves around an Indian-American Muslim family trying to embrace their life in America along with preserving their culture, faith and traditions.

You see, as an Indian Muslim living in the US for almost a decade now, and having faced some very similar struggles, my expectations of this book were set high when I read the blurb. I was curious as to how Fatima Farheen Mirza would portray those tiny battles, little conflicts and...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

Family sagas are definitely my jam, and this novel was no exception. I enjoyed the structure of the book, working backwards from the arrival of estranged son Amar at the daughter Hadia's wedding. Immediately we know that something is amiss and are not given the answers as Mirza quickly brings us back in time to the beginnings of their family, their parents marriage, and examines the childhood of the three siblings. I felt invested in the characters right away, as they struggled with universal experiences of childhood - most notably: first love. Learning about different cultures also makes a novel compelling for me, especially in the ways it affects the family dynamic. There is a lot to...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*'s review Jun 12, 2018 · edit
it was amazing



So Beautiful, Emotional and Moving!

I was immediately drawn into the story due to the beautiful writing. I love how Sarah Jessica Parker described the writing on the very first page of the book, "Told with a delicacy as though every sentence is spun from glass. I just had to savor each sentence and it flowed so well.

This book is so different than I usually read. I have to have a lot of suspense while reading a book. At least that's what I thought until I read this one. It did have some suspense, that kept me turning the pages, to find out what happened to Amar.
I loved this beautiful emotional...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

"Maybe it was the exceptions we made for one another that brought God more pride than when we stood firm, maybe His heart opened when His creations opened their hearts to one another"


This book both filled my heart and broke it into a hundred pieces.

Why is it always the hardest to talk about the books that we love the most? Because that's what this one has become, a new favorite. While I wade through this heap of emotions this story left me with, I'll attempt a very brief synopsis. Spanning decades, A Place for Us follows one Indian-American Muslim family living in California, the parents having moved there from Hyderabad after their wedding of their arranged...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

5 Beautiful Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

This was more than just a book it was an experience... I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to read this with a group of my fellow reviewers and friends the “Traveling Sisters”... we have read and love many books together, but this was hands-down the best discussion we have ever had... each of these amazing ladies brought their own life experiences to the discussion and it touched each and every one of us in an unique and special way.... this is a book that will stay close to our hearts and never be forgotten by any of us!

The story of a Muslim Indian American family, that really could be any family...Told non-linearly, The author wove pieces of the...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

This is the only time I can ever remember feeling like there’s something wrong with me for not loving a book. Though it’s only being published today, A Place for Us is already near-universally adored, and it sounded like a book that was right up my alley: a sprawling portrait of a dysfunctional family is the blueprint for so many of my favorite books and I didn’t see any reason for A Place for Us to be an exception.

And it’s undeniably a beautiful novel. It follows an Indian-American Muslim family living in California, who are gathered at the beginning of the novel for their eldest daughter Hadia’s wedding. We find out that the entire family is estranged from their only son, Amar, and the...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

A Place for Us is one of the most beautiful and resonant novels I’ve read. The story of an Indian-American Muslim family living in California, it explores many different facets of their lives: the immigrant story, their deep faith, family relationships, the intricacies of arranged marriage, and the children of immigrants coming into their own.

The story begins as the family gathers for the wedding of Hadia, the family’s eldest daughter. The family is overjoyed not only at the occasion of Hadia’s marriage to Tariq, but also that the youngest son Amar has returned after a long estrangement.

Told in alternating points of view, we hear the family’s story from their parents’ beginnings in...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

Rafiq and Layla want their children to honor the traditions of their own upbringings in India. That means arranged marriages, traditional gender roles, and preserving their image in the community. Rafiq is proud, harsh, and detached, and Layla, strong but silent, chooses to keep the peace rather than challenge him. Their three children are American born and raised and have their own expectations for life, but neither Rafiq nor Layla is willing to recognize the difference between themselves and their children. Hadia is the perfect, dependable older sister. Huda is the middle sister—religious and independent. Amar is their younger brother—bright and sensitive but always in trouble. While the...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?

What I Loved:

Every momentous event and every miniscule action has a consequence—and you never know which ones will haunt you for the rest of your life. A Place for Us is a deeply moving chronicle of the life of a family, the big and the small events that shape their lives.

I love the deep, multi-faceted perspectives that the author, Fatima Farheen Mirza, unveils throughout the novel. The same event replays multiple times giving readers access into the emotions and thoughts of each character. As a parent, it's simply terrifying to see other parents' decisions play out over the course of years; but it also encourages me to champion grace in my family, and for myself, as I seek to...

See Full Review
Was this review helpful?
Long, intense, at times on the slow and repetitive side, and yet this debut delivers a grave and beautiful punch. It deftly combines the specialness of a Muslim family and its culture with the commmon and recognizable features of a regular family anatomization. Best of all it’s done with a profound simplicity that touches the heart. Impressive work.
Was this review helpful?