Review Detail

Kids Fiction 320
Summer in Karichi
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Mimi and her mother like in Houston, Texas, but things have not been going well lately. Her father, a US born reporter, left long ago, and her Pakistani born mother has struggled to make ends meet by teaching and creating art. Mimi has never met her mother's parents, but is unsure about spending six weeks visiting them in Karachi. Nana and Nani are well-to-do and were greatly disappointed in their daughter's choice of husband, but glad to see their family. Sakina works with her Abba in the kitchen, where he cooks and she helps with a variety of chores. Secretly, she hopes to attend school, and has passed the entrance exams except for English. The girls are wary of each other at first; Mimi thinks that Sakina should want to be her friend, but Sakina knows that she is a servant who needs to work and not make Mimi's grandmother angry. Besides, her father's diabetes is not well managed, and he needs her help. Mimi is using a journal her mother gave her to keep track of her trip to write letters to her estranged father, whom she misses. Eventually, the girls warm to each other, and Sakina asks Mimi to help her with her English. The two are given permission to go sightseeing with the family chauffeur as well. Both girls have a lot to learn about the other's culture, and things don't always go smoothly. Mimi learns that her father is in Karachi, and is already angry with her mother for hanging out with a man she knew in college, so the girls try to locate him, finally pinpointing the newspaper employing him. As the visit nears an end, there are some issues that the girls must address, but they are able to treat each other with kindness and help each other out.
Good Points
Faruqi has taken a personal trip back to her hometown and crafted a rather brilliant novel about trying to understand other cultures... even one's own. Sometimes, this sort of examination comes off as a bit negative and whiny, but Mimi and Sakina are both very good natured and really try to understand how their actions look to someone else. There are a few instances of misunderstanding or tension, but they are very realistic, and the girls move past them. The descriptions of daily life in Karachi are well done, and like so many novels involving cultures from the Indian subcontinent, there's a lot of FOOD! I really want a bun kebab now! There's some interesting discussion of local politics, marriage traditions, and the differences between the wealthy and the poor. There's also a very interesting scene where Sakina and Mimi pray even though both are not very religious. The descriptions of Sakina's home life are something that my students really need to read. The fact that she is not able to go to school will shock many of them. I enjoyed this very much!

I love a good travel book that gives some insight into a culture I don't know well, and this is brilliant because it gives opinions on both Pakistani and US culture from two view points. Perfect for Narsimhan's Mission Mumbai Bajaj's Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood. or Krishnaswami's The Grand Plan to Fix Everything.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Send Me Their Souls (Bring Me Their Hearts, #3)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
There are worse things than death. ...
The Walrus and the Caribou
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
When the earth was new, words had the power to...
The Elephant's Umbrella
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Elephant is always ready and willing to share her prized...
Calvin Gets the Last Word
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The dictionary as narrator? YES! ...
Goblin King (Permafrost, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Kara Barbieri's Goblin King, the stunning sequel in the...
Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Morrigan battles a new evil as a strange, frightening illness...
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
*AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* From New York...
Earth-Shattering Events: Volcanoes, earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis and other natural disasters
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
An atlas of the most extreme meteorological and geological disasters...
Among the Beasts and Briars
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ashley Poston, acclaimed author of Heart of Iron, returns...
Gut Garden: A journey into the wonderful world of your microbiome
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
A journey into the wonderful world of your microbiome! Within...
ICK! Delightfully Disgusting Animal Dinners, Dwellings, and Defenses
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Animals--they're cute and fluffy, cuddly and puffy, and ... sometimes...
Dinosaurs Are Not Extinct: Real Facts About Real Dinosaurs
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Award-winning author-illustrator Drew Sheneman brings budding paleontologists the truth about...

Latest Member Reviews

Fox and the Jumping Contest
 
3.5
"Everyone is ready for the big Jumping Contest, especially Fox. Fox wants to win, but he’s actually not a good..."