Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
Publication date: May 8th, 2018
The compelling story of a girl’s fight to regain her life and dreams after being forced into indentured servitude.
Life is quiet and ordinary in Amal’s Pakistani village, but she had no complaints, and besides, she’s busy pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher one day. Her dreams are temporarily dashed when–as the eldest daughter–she must stay home from school to take care of her siblings. Amal is upset, but she doesn’t lose hope and finds ways to continue learning. Then the unimaginable happens–after an accidental run-in with the son of her village’s corrupt landlord, Amal must work as his family’s servant to pay off her own family’s debt.
Life at the opulent Khan estate is full of heartbreak and struggle for Amal–especially when she inadvertently makes an enemy of a girl named Nabila. Most troubling, though, is Amal’s growing awareness of the Khans’ nefarious dealings. When it becomes clear just how far they will go to protect their interests, Amal realizes she will have to find a way to work with others if they are ever to exact change in a cruel status quo, and if Amal is ever to achieve her dreams.
I’d been wanting to read this book for quite some time and I’m so glad I read it finally! This was not what I expected it to be–it was very sad and VERY raw and real– and that made this even more of a beautiful reading experience. It’s a short novel but it deals with some really heavy stuff. The discussion about indentured servitude that is prevalent all over the world and is most definitely seen in Pakistan (where this story takes place) was very important. And I especially loved the hope that was given throughout the book. I loved Amal’s voice and how she wants to learn and teach. her compassion was beautiful and despite all the hardships she went through she still stood tall and showed courage. It truly was amazing.
If you want to read about a girl standing up for herself and the power of compassion and words, I would definitely recommend this. I would recommend this to anyone who wants something that discusses some hard truths and brings up things that aren’t normally discussed. If you believe in the right for everyone to be educated, definitely check this out!