Special Feature: Sparks Like Stars by Nadia Hashimi

One of the thing that I love about own voices novels is experiencing a story within a story. On the surface you have the actual story and characters etc, but there is a second story within the novel and that’s the authors own unique narrative and how they interpret or experience the story and characters based on their own unique cultural perspective.

This hot little own voices novel is out now and it sounds incredible! Author Nadia Hashimi has written a number of novels and all have been met with rave reviews! I haven’t read any of her books but I have seen them on many best seller lists and on ‘most anticipated’ lists. I am really looking forward to reading this one a little later this year but since it’s out now and sounds incredibly promising, I thought it would be great to share a little about this one with you guys!

I am most excited to see how this one plays out as the main character was a child in Afghanistan and is adopted by an American and lives in America and from the sound of things, basically assimilates and plans to never think about her time in Afghanistan again. I am curious to see explore how the character feels about her home country after returning as an adult and now an ‘American’. I think there will be a lot to unpack and explore in this one and this might be a good pick for book clubs!


An Afghan American woman returns to Kabul to learn the truth about her family and the tragedy that destroyed their lives in this brilliant and compelling novel from the bestselling author of The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, The House Without Windows, and When the Moon Is Low.

Kabul, 1978: The daughter of a prominent family, Sitara Zamani lives a privileged life in Afghanistan’s thriving cosmopolitan capital. The 1970s are a time of remarkable promise under the leadership of people like Sardar Daoud, Afghanistan’s progressive president, and Sitara’s beloved father, his right-hand man. But the ten-year-old Sitara’s world is shattered when communists stage a coup, assassinating the president and Sitara’s entire family. Only she survives. 

Smuggled out of the palace by a guard named Shair, Sitara finds her way to the home of a female American diplomat, who adopts her and raises her in America. In her new country, Sitara takes on a new name—Aryana Shepherd—and throws herself into her studies, eventually becoming a renowned surgeon. A survivor, Aryana has refused to look back, choosing instead to bury the trauma and devastating loss she endured. 

New York, 2008: Forty years after that fatal night in Kabul, Aryana’s world is rocked again when an elderly patient appears in her examination room—a man she never expected to see again. It is Shair, the soldier who saved her, yet may have murdered her entire family. Seeing him awakens Aryana’s fury and desire for answers—and, perhaps, revenge. Realizing that she cannot go on without finding the truth, Aryana embarks on a quest that takes her back to Kabul—a battleground between the corrupt government and the fundamentalist Taliban—and through shadowy memories of the world she loved and lost. 

Bold, illuminating, heartbreaking, yet hopeful, Sparks Like Stars is a story of home—of America and Afghanistan, tragedy and survival, reinvention and remembrance, told in Nadia Hashimi’s singular voice. (summary from Goodreads)


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