A Place for Us introduces us to an immigrant couple from India who settle in California to start a family and create a life together. Their three children, two girls and a boy, are born and raised in the U.S. and the clash between the two worlds is thoughtfully, poignantly, and skillfully explored in Mirza’s first novel. The story is told through several different characters’ viewpoints and switches back and forth in time, which requires the reader to pay close attention. Growing up in the U.S., the children struggle to be faithful Muslims and still fit into the American culture. Both daughters seem to have successfully found their way and much of the book takes place at the oldest daughter’s wedding to a man she chose for love, not tradition. The son has been less successful in navigating between the two cultures and the relationship between him and the rest of the family is fraught with tension. The characters deal with all sorts of secrets, misunderstandings, sorrow, and guilt but in the end, there is a sense of hope that they will all somehow find their place. A remarkable debut novel well worth reading. —Joni Roberts, Librarian
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