In Afghanistan, a family with no sons is able to have one of its daughters follow the ancient custom of bacha posh. She dresses like a boy, has tasks that a boy normally carries out, and is allowed the freedom boys in her country have until she reaches puberty. Rahima takes on this custom and it is her narration as well as her great-great-grandmother, Shekiba, who illustrate many of the hardships women in Afghanistan have endured in the last century.
The Pearl That Broke Its Shell is very interesting, easy to read and, at times, suspenseful. Anyone who enjoyed The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns will want to read this debut novel. I look forward to reading Hamids second work of fiction, When the Moon Is Low, which was recently published.