I started off my 48 hours at the pool, and chose my first book of the challenge mainly because it was not a library book. I don’t want wet pool hands near library books. Well, not new hardbacks anyway.
Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind, by Suzanne Fisher Staples, has been on my to-read list for a while. There’s always been something more pressing that moves it to the bottom of the pile. Now that I’ve read it, I’ll look for the sequel or is it sequels? but I’m not running out today to find it (them?).
Shabanu is the daughter of nomads in Pakistan. She loves helping with the camels her family raises, but worries about her coming responsibilities as a woman. As a child, she still has some freedoms, even if she must obey her family unconditionally. As a woman, she becomes a wife and must be prepared to sacrifice her own needs to those of her husband. As her sister Phulan’s wedding draws near, disaster strikes and shakes up everything Shabanu has come to accept about her own fate.
Even though the back cover focuses on the major plot point in the story, the book is mostly about bringing the reader into the world of the Cholistanis, with their customs, beliefs, and concerns. In fact, I found the hints of upcoming disaster to be pretty distracting, as I was looking for it at every page turn, and the crisis doesn’t in fact come until more than halfway through the book. Overall, it was an interesting book and I enjoyed the cultural education. It didn’t “wow” me.