A Thousand Questions
Set in Karachi, Pakistan, this engaging novel explores the developing relationship between two seemingly disparate eleven-year-old girls.
Mimi travels from America to Pakistan with her mother to spend the summer with wealthy grandparents whom she has never met. She desperately misses her father, who left when she was five years old, but her mother’s refusal to talk about him is driving them apart. Mimi seeks solace in her journal, where she writes letters to her dad, even though he will never read them.
Sakina works as a servant for Mimi’s grandparents, but has a secret ambition to go to school. However, she worries that her family will not be able to manage without her income, especially as her father cannot afford his diabetes medication, so is becoming increasingly unwell.
Despite their differences, the pair become friends. Nevertheless, Sakina cannot help resenting Mimi’s carefree life, while Mimi is envious of Sakina’s tight-knit family, particularly the close relationship she has with her father. The narration alternates between the two girls, enabling readers to empathise with both characters and gain insights into their lifestyles, expectations and aspirations. A compelling tale, which paints a vivid picture of the poverty and privilege of Karachi life.