Thursday, 27 August 2015

Whispers From The East - Amie Ali


by Amie Ali

Available in eBook & Paperback
272 Pages
Literary/Historical Fiction


I was blown away by this story which, while set in the past, is probably one of the most relevant topics of today. The book starts in 1947 with a gritty migration by the first protagonist, Ammi, out of India and into Pakistan. It then moves forward to the 1970's and jumps into Carolyn's POV, a Catholic who has married one of Ammi's Muslim sons in California. Finally, to 1985 and the POV of Ivy, an American Muslim convert who has married Ammi's youngest son in Florida. The struggles from Ammi's perspective and the perspective of two modern women with Pakistani husbands ensues until it hits fever pitch.

Whispers from the East is eloquently written with the authentic voice of a woman's heart, be she a mother, a wife, or both. The forward moving POV transitions where we meet each woman only at a critical prelude—written in the form of running vignettes that harmonize the overall arc—keep the story fluid and make the time transitions seamless. One character is not more important than another, and Ali writes with a measured, even hand in describing where each woman stands. This book really opened my eyes to Muslim-Christian interfaith marriages and the real struggles of racism (from both sides) and the impact of these matches on women and their relationships. Again, highly relevant to today but the historical settings and the details make this read even deeper.


Ammi, a pregnant 24-year-old, flees New Delhi with millions of Muslim migrants in the early hours of the 1947 Partition of India, clawing her way through a controversial caste system and into the heart of Lahori society.

A family broken by betrayal.
Two of Ammi's beloved sons immigrate to the United States and secretly marry dazzling, contemporary American brides. One bride converts to Islam. The other commits apostasy, the sin of all sins.

Three women who stand to lose everything.
The collision of two belief systems—two worlds—come to a head as Ammi, Carolyn, and Ivy fight to keep their own marriages, families, and futures secure.



Amie Ali's stories focus on the lives of Western women who find love among the cultural breadth of Middle Eastern, North African, and South Asian countries. Weaving western expectations of love and family with extensive cultural and religious differences, she enjoys writing stories that bridge divides and offer a peek into these diverse, often controversial relationships.

For more information visit Amie Ali on Facebook and Twitter. You can also find her on Goodreads.

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