Rukhsana loves the laws of physics and plans to become an engineer. In a few months she will be attending Caltech on a scholarship. With her girlfriend Ariana. Only her parents who are conservative Muslims living in the Bengali community of Seattle would probably disown her if they found out about her relationship. When she and Ariana are caught kissing by her mother, events spiral into a terrifying path.
Falsely told that her grandmother in Bangladesh is gravely ill, Rukhsana and parents catch the next plane. The truth is soon apparent that they are there to force her into an arranged marriage. Her parents are convinced that their lives would be over if the truth about her sexuality came out.
Rukhsana learns some secrets of her own mother’s past when her grandmother gifts her the diary of her early life, marriage and motherhood. Gathering strength from her grandmother who encourages her to fight for her freedom of choice, she also gains sympathy for her mother's dark childhood. Cousins and other family members are allies and memorable characters adding to the cultural experience of a large Bengali family
One of the proposed marriage partners turns out to be gay and the two form a friendship and eventually a plan to help them both escape back to the states. Rukhsana must find the courage to fight for her love and her freedom and hopefully keep the culture and family she loves.
Tessa's picks, 8th summer 2019, Character driven, Contemporary fiction, Family life, Global perspectives, Issues fiction, People of color.