I had the honor of meeting Aisha Saeed at the Decatur Book Festival before reading her book. Listening to her speak about Naila’s character and the story she was trying to tell before reading it for myself made the book that much more touching. I will admit I don’t know much about Naila’s culture so I’m not going to say I don’t agree with it. Her culture and beliefs are different than mine and that is perfectly okay. I will say it was interesting to learn about the culture from Naila’s point of view, hearing if from someone living it makes it easier to “see”.
Naila lives in America; and she has her entire life, but her family is still enforces their Pakistani beliefs. They live in a community with many other Pakistani families, have weekly get togethers, and still practice arranged marriage. Naila believes things will be different for her though, because her parents are allowing her to follow her dreams for college and medical school. When her parents catch her with an unapproved boy everything changes.
Naila’s parents plan a summer trip to Pakistan to visit relatives, to remind Naila of where she comes from, her beliefs, and how a Pakistani girl’s life should be. But the trip takes a turn that Naila did not see coming. How will she survive this change? Will her boy from home be able to help her or is her life doomed to her parent’s choice?
Written in the Stars is a beautiful, touching, unwrapped truth of a story. I learned more than I could have imagined from this story. From the culture to the language used I am beyond glad that this book exists. Everyone should read it at some point.