Indireads.com provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for a review. I’d like to thank them for their initiative to promote debut South Asian authors and also for fuelling my reading habit.
On her first holiday in six years, Rumi is expecting to relax and unwind. But when she is set up by her long-time friend, she doesn’t shy away from the possibilities. Ahad, a charming, independent, self-made man, captures her imagination, drawing her away from her disapproving sister, Juveria.
Faced with sizzling chemistry and a meeting of the minds, Ahad and Rumi find themselves deep in a relationship that moves forward with growing intensity. But as her desire for the self-assured Ahad grows, Rumi struggles with a decision that will impact the rest of her life.
Confronted by her scandalized sister, a forbidding uncle and a society that frowns on pre-marital intimacy, Rumi has to decide whether to shed her middle-class sensibilities, turning her back on her family, or return to her secluded existence as an unmarried woman in Pakistan.
We follow Rumi from rainy London to a sweltering Karachi, as she tries to take control of her own destiny.
The butterfly season is a debut novel by Natasha Ahmed. (It has a super pretty cover, by the way!)
It tells the story of Rumi, a thirty year old woman from a conservative Pakistani family. Rumi (beautiful name, though) did not marry or do anything that traditional Pakistani girls are meant to do. She is a successful architect, but she spent her youth taking care of her ailing mother, which consequently led her relatives to consider her as a foolish woman who whiled away her youth and is now destined to live as a spinster throughout her life.
After her mother died, she takes a long overdue vacation to London, to visit her younger sister. Her sister Juveria is a conservative Muslim, who grew even more conservative after moving to England.
Once there, Rumi meets Ahad, a charming British-Pakistani, who succeeds in wooing her.
But, then, Rumi has to face the challenges of her disapproving family coming to know of her relationship.
As an Indian, if there is one thing that this book taught me, it is that life is nearly the same on either side of the border. The over-emphasis on culture and tradition and a stigma attached to certain things, pre-marital sex for one.
Rumi’s reluctance and hesitation to break the bounds of her societal traditions are wonderfully written and extremely relatable.
The coming-of-age novella describes how Rumi manages to break free from the chains that bind her and fly away as an independent woman.
I love how Rumi’s character develops and how she learns to live and love.
Brilliant light read. A feel-good novella.