Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed was one of the most emotional books I ever read. This book is about forced marriages that unfortunately still happen all over the world. The family and main character in this book are Pakistani but living in America. The story starts in America, where the family live, but the rest of the story is set in Pakistan
The story begins where her parents find out that she has secretly been going out with a boy called Saif and decide to take her and her brother to Pakistan to see their family in Pakistan. Naila thinks it’s just a holiday but really it’s so they can get her married.
We follow Naila through her story and how her family force her to get married and the life she is forced to live. Her story ends when she is safely back in America but in reality this may not happen to everyone and some may spend the rest of their lives suffering.
She is drugged and locked in a room, unable to see anyone and then after she is married she lives in a little village with her in laws where she is unable to study or speak to anyone outside and her mother and sister in law try to control and dictate what she can and cannot do.
This story was so heart wrenching, but it’s a story that helps to raise awareness of the situation that these young girls and boys face. The reason which was repeatedly told to Naila as to why they were doing this to her was that it’s because they know what’s best for her and that she should have thought about the family honour.
Thankfully it is not as common as it was but it still exists, there are still people who believe they have the right to force their children to marry who they choose, by whatever means necessary and that women do not need to receive an education as their purpose in life is to look after the home and children.
This story showed how it not only tore apart Nailas life but also affected her whole family and Saif and his family too. It did not bring back Nailas “family honour” instead it permanently damaged Nailas relationship with her parents.
It’s a story that is real for many girls from all different backgrounds and ethnicities and it’s something that people should be aware of how horrible it is for them so that it can be stopped.
I would definitely recommend everyone to read this book as it has some much needed insight into what it is like for someone who has been forced to get married and raise awareness for this issue.
I do also want to point out that although this does happen it is not the norm for every Pakistani girl. The majority are not forced into marriage and are able to pursue education and build careers, to be independent. I am Pakistani and in my house education is far more important than getting married and I know this is the same for my friends and family too.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Do let me know!