“What a burden it is to be born a woman.”
- a loving mother
- a loyal wife
- in prison
Her husband Kamal has been found murdered, with a hatchet, in their courtyard.
And Zeba – covered with blood.
She is sent to Chil Mahtab, the women’s prison in Kabul, while the judge tries to figure out what to do with her.
Her brother has hired her a young lawyer, Yusuf, a recent returnee from the US where he has lived for many years and where he went to law school. He’s a little naive but his colleague soon sets him straight about how things work in Afghanistan:
“the justice system, if you can even call it that, is as twisted as a mullah’s turban. There are ways to work with what we have, but it takes creativity and patience.”
Unfortunately he has a difficult task ahead of him as Zeba herself refuses to help in her own defense. Her refusal makes him wonder, what is she hiding? Whose secrets are she keeping?
It was especially interesting (and painful) to learn about Zeba’s fellow inmates.
“Because of their various improprieties, many had been convicted of the broad crime of zina, sex outside of marriage. Some were convicted of attempted zina or imprisoned for assisting another woman to commit zina.”
Sadly, for many of them, prison is a safer place than their own homes. Isn’t that just heart-breaking?
This book was a difficult read, a difficult topic but one that hopefully raises more awareness about women’s rights around the world.
I received this book for review from its publisher as part of a TLC Book Tour. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops on the tour.
I’m using this for “Central Asian MC” for #AsianLitBingo