Cover Image: House Number 12 Block Number 3

House Number 12 Block Number 3

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Member Reviews

Wow what a book.  I have read soooo many books with what I thought to be every pov under the sun I have never in my life read a book where the pov was a HOUSE.  I loved the different characters and liked seeing so many different ones.  If you liked A Woman Is No Man this is the book for you.  It’s focused more on children than adults but it works really well for this book.  The cover is beautiful and for debut novel I’d say it’s a home run!
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The house that is the setting for this novel is also the narrator of this story of a family struggling with grief, secrets, and depression. It's beautifully written, and I wish it had been longer!
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What an absolutely brilliant book, its story is told from the point of view of the house!  I'm not kidding, nor am I going mad.  Can you imagine all the stories the house had heard over the years, and now it's ready to spill its secrets.Abandoned during partition, Haji Rahmat buys the house ten years later. This is house where Haji Rahmat's family grows up

The language used in the book just makes it so delectable, the story touches on war, stigma, mental illness, culture, family and death, so it's intense, but not in an overwhelming way, you sort of glide through the pages. Sana Balagamwala caught life in Pakistan perfectly, it also lends an insight to the countries history.

 The story flowed really well throughout, which made for very easy reading, I like the sensitivity the author used when it came to Haji Rahmats Daughter, it was sensitive and yet distressing, but there's a clear pathway to open up and talk about this topic moreOverall I really enjoyed the book, if you would like a copy then this releases on 26th October 2021 - the ISBN Number is 9781735414577.  Please use independent booksellers, they will be so grateful you did and you help them stay in business, and we need our little indy bookshops to stay around!
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There were certain aspects of this book that I did enjoy and others not so much. I very much enjoyed the cultural aspects, setting, narrator, but did not favour the descriptions provided with the tensions and conflict surrounding the area at the time. I found it confusing and not well-executed. I am still left with an incomplete history lesson in regard to the turmoil at the time. The book was too short and not descriptive. It read like a children’s chapter book, and was just too brief. I did love the story but it feels incomplete. 

Many thanks to NetGalley for the advanced digital copy.
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We have an expression about wanting to be a fly on the wall so that we can eavesdrop on others. But what if you could be the wall? In House Number 12 Block Number 3, by Sana Balagamwala, the house itself tells the story after hearing all kinds of conversations over decades. The price of this gift, however, is that no one can hear the house when it really wants to spill secrets and shout warnings to the family it shelters within its walls.

We meet the family six months after the death of the patriarch. Zainab, the widow, is struggling between grief and moving on. Junaid, the son is ready to move on, literally, and wants the family to sell the house. Nadia, the favored daughter, is prostrate. She rarely leaves the room and never leaves the house. She barely eats. She doesn’t want to wash. Her mother has brought in doctors and healers to figure out what’s wrong; they diagnose everything from depression to possession by a jinn. The house knows what’s wrong, but it can’t speak to tell them what’s really wrong with Nadia.

House Number 12 Block Number 3 moves back and forth from the early 1980s back to the late-1950s, the 1960s, and the 1970s. We watch Nadia grow up under her father’s indulgent eye and her mother’s worried one. When Nadia is a little girl, her uncle comes to visit and she is never the same again. The house knows—and we know, because of the house—what happened even though we (thankfully) never get the actual details.

This novel isn’t the usual story of triumph over abuse or about forgiveness or even really about healing. Instead, it’s a story about how secrets can never stay hidden, even if propriety really wants them to stay buried. The truth will out, to repeat another common saying. Because of its cathartic conclusion and Balagamwala deft touch with the details, House Number 12 Block 3 turned out to be a surprisingly satisfying read.
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"Even the walls have ears."
What a wonderfully written book! Sana Balagamwala has fully encapsulated life in Pakistan's metropolis, Karachi, to perfection. From ten years post-partition to the late eighties, this book lends an insight to the country's history as a backdrop to the story.
The narrator is the actual house. Abandoned during partition, Haji Rahmat buys the house ten years later. This is house where Haji Rahmat's family grows up. The house sees and hears everything.
From the back garden jamun tree to the hired help -Balagamwala was able to weave details into the narrative that captured the atmosphere and every day life of living in Karachi. The story pushed itself along naturally and the author did a fantastic job with the mental health aspect when it came to Haji Rahmat's daughter Nadia and the distressing reason for her mental health issues.
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3.5 stars 

This was a very beautifully written story and had a very interesting narrator, the house. The house served as the narrator and the somewhat claustrophobic setting. As someone stated in another review it very much embodied the saying “if walls could talk” and that was something that really stuck with me. This is something I could find myself rereading the writing really brought you in and kept you engaged from start to finish. I won’t get too into the plot or details of the story because I feel like this is one of those reads that you definitely should go into without knowing too much. The only issue I did have with this was that the characters didn’t feel completely fleshed out.

This advanced copy was given by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is quite a story, and all told from the point of view of a house. Definitely a "if walls could talk" kind of story, which I found was a neat way to tell this story. 
There is a lot going on in this book and it touches on war, culture, mental illness stigma, death, and family. I really enjoyed this book and it was well written.
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This is such a beautiful book, it is beautifully written and I loved every second of it. Honestly one of the best books I have read this year
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Everyone knows the saying “if these walls could talk...” Well, wonder no more! House number 12 on block number 3 is the narrator of this book. This was a quick read that could get heavy at times. (I don’t want to spoil anything, but I would add a trigger warning to this book.) There is some political/war/historical talk, but it wasn’t enough to be confusing or overwhelming, and it was important for parts of the plot. 

I liked all of the characters (even the “bad” ones), but I sort of felt they were only superficially explored. 

I think I went through every emotion while reading this book. Nostalgic for childhood, anger, sadness, pride, hope. 

I would say this book is out of my usual “comfort zone,” but I am really glad I read it! 3.5 stars, but rounding up to 4 for my rating.
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