A young Pakistani woman is the victim of an unthinkable act of vengeance, when she defies tradition … facing seemingly insurmountable challenges and danger when she attempts to rebuild her life.
Multan, Pakistan. A conservative city where an unmarried woman over the age of twenty-five is considered a curse by her family.
Ayesha is twenty-seven. Independent and happily single, she has evaded an arranged marriage because of her family’s reduced circumstances. When she catches the eye of powerful, wealthy Raza, it seems like the answer to her parents’ prayers. But Ayesha is in love with someone else, and when she refuses to give up on him, Raza resorts to unthinkable revenge…
Ayesha travels to London to rebuild her life and there she meets Kamil, an emotionally damaged man who has demons of his own. They embark on a friendship that could mean salvation for both of them, but danger stalks Ayesha in London, too. With her life thrown into turmoil, she is forced to make a decision that could change her and everyone she loves forever.
Exquisitely written, populated by unforgettable characters and rich with poignant, powerful themes, Someone Like Her is a story of love and family, of corruption and calamity, of courage and hope … and one woman’s determination to thwart convention and find peace, at whatever cost…
Hi and welcome to my review of Someone Like Her!
Bloody hell, Awais Khan, what did you put me through?!
Someone Like Her is Awais Khan’s third novel and the third one I’ve read, and what I’ve come to expect from this author is to broaden my horizons while being put through an emotional wringer. All I can say is that Someone Like Her definitely meets expectations!
The problem is, this is an author who manages to make you care deeply about his characters. So much so, that you tend to forget they’re not real people, and then when bad things happen to them, you hurt right along with them. Yet, Someone Like Her never becomes a sob story. I’m very sensitive about gratuitous violence or unncessary bad things in general in books. When I feel the author is just throwing bad stuff in for shock value or to make the reader cry, it pulls me right out of the story. There is none of that here.
Someone Like Her lays bare an absolutely horrible act that is much too common in Pakistan. I’m ashamed to admit I never paid much attention to it, I had no idea this heinous crime was so common and it did send me down a Google rabbit hole. I’m deliberately being vague because what happens to our protagonist Ayesha is such an important part of the plot and it’s not named in the blurb so I don’t want to spoil it. However, I do need to address this because it shook me to the core and I hugely admire the sensitivity with which the author handles everything. Even so, I do blame Awais Khan for the sleepless night I had after reading that particular chapter in bed. I just couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Someone Like Her is a tragic story, with a lot of horrific things done by bad people to good and undeserving people. Yet, humour is never far off. I do love how this author portrays Pakistani families and their overbearing but loving mothers (Jamila, I think I love you!).
Money makes the world go round and the obscenely rich call the shots, it’s the same everywhere and Pakistan is no different. Once again, Awais Khan addresses a number of sore spots in his home country (corruption, crime, injustice and prejudice), while also highlighting its good sides, its beauty, the courage and strength and kindness of the people fighting in big ways or small ways to change things.
I completely fell in love with Ayesha and Kamil. Someone Like Her made me sad and upset and happy, it shook me to the core and it made me chuckle and when a certain someone gets a certain phone call towards the end (you’ll know it when you read it), I was in tears. I was just 100% invested from the very start and nothing I can say can do it justice, you need to experience this for yourself.
Someone Like Her is out in digital formats and paperback on 17 August. Preorder it directly from Orenda Books here.
Massive thanks to Orenda Books for the digital ARC. All opinions are my own.