Fatima Bhutto's stunning debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon, begins and ends one rain swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan's Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. The second, a doctor, goes to check in at his hospital. His troubled wife does not join the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. And the youngest, the idealist, leaves for town on a motorbike. Seated behind him is a beautiful, fragile girl whose life and thoughts are overwhelmed by the war that has enveloped the place of her birth. Three hours later their day will end in devastating circumstances. The Shadow of the Crescent Moon chronicles the lives of five young people trying to live and love in a world on fire. Individuals are pushed to make terrible choices. And, as the events of this single morning unfold, one woman is at the centre of it all. "A first novel of uncommon poise and acuity, The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is set in an old and protracted war for land and dignity. But its swift and suspenseful narrative describes a fiercely contemporary battle in the human heart: between the seductive fantasy of personal freedom and the tenacious claims of family, community and history." (Pankaj Mishra). Fatima Bhutto was born in Kabul, grew up in Damascus, and lives in Karachi. This is her first novel.
Bhutto writes of an extraordinary place where beauty lives alongside brutality, with superb poise and a kind of defiant lyricism The Times Stunning ... Few debut novels can adequately explore such colossal themes as betrayal and allegiance, or persuasively render fear, doubt and determination The National Incredibly ambitious, extremely powerful and moving Radio 4 Stunningly worded Company Magazine Concise, elegant. Bhutto is a gifted and compelling writer, economically and poetically summoning up this beautiful mountainous backwater Mail on Sunday Powerful, compelling, moving inexorably to a devastating conclusion Sunday Express [Explores] the divisive split between those suffering from the direct consequences of war and a generation of unaware, complacent young Pakistanis Evening Standard A first novel of uncommon poise and acuity, The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is set in an old and protracted war for land and dignity. But its swift and suspenseful narrative describes a fiercely contemporary battle in the human heart: between the seductive fantasy of personal freedom and the tenacious claims of family, community and history -- Pankaj Mishra An extraordinary first novel which reads like a politico-religious thriller. Compelling. -- Hector Abads This is (...) a human story, with love as well as ideology - Bhutto blends the two adroitly (and) writes with great poignancy, keeping the emotional pitch high Financial Times It's a heart-stopping thriller, as well as an important political commentary about oppression, occupation and war. Most strikingly, though, it's a devastating love story -- Jemima Khan New Statesman 'Books of the Year' The novel is set over the course of one morning in a small town in Pakistan's tribal regions (and) follows the story of three brothers who are forced to make difficult choices. But the heart of the novel, for Bhutto, lies in the female characters Observer Thought-provoking. Above all, what The Shadow of the Crescent Moon captures so well is not just the trauma of war, but also the conflicts of contemporary Pakistanis, torn between remaining faithful to the legacy of previous generations, and their own dreams of choosing their own destiny Sunday Telegraph
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 28th November 2013
Dimensions (cm): 20.3 x 13.7 x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.32