Title: In women we trust.
Author: Naim.H. Sakhia.
A teenager’s indiscretion becomes a family tragedy and threatens to become a national scandal in this Pakistan-set drama.
Gul is the 15-year-old son of poor people who work for Sardar Timur, a wealthy and powerful man in Hayatabad, Pakistan. He’s suddenly pulled into a brief sexual encounter with Timur’s daughter, Farah, on whom he has had a longtime crush, and the two are discovered in an unlucky moment that has extraordinary reverberations. Furious at what he feels is his mortification, Timur calls for a Panchayat, an “informal justice system” that empowers a council of locals to mete out determinations of guilt and innocence. Author Sakhia astutely captures the nature of these easily corruptible proceedings, which are officially illegal but largely ignored by the police. For Gul and his family, the stakes couldn’t be higher; he could be castrated or killed, and his relations could also suffer gruesome fates. Meanwhile, French journalist Arlette Baudis, who has accused the prime minister of Pakistan of sexual harassment, attempts to make the Panchayat fiasco into an issue of international interest—not only to highlight the nation’s corruption but also to challenge its sexist view of women. Over the course of this novel, the author presents a tale that is sinewy and rich, deftly depicting a traditional system of justice as a thinly disguised one of oppression. Sakhia’s sparse, straightforward prose is quietly moving, as when Baudis, in a fit of exasperated anger about the prime minister’s popular election, rages, “How stupid are you people? Where the damn hell is the moral compass?” Sakhia also manages, with great authorial restraint, to refrain from sacrificing the artistic elements of the story to a sententious lesson.
T/W: Sexism, Racism,
The story is set in Pakistan. At first I was very confused because new characters were popping up here and there, it was hard to keep up but then slowly the author connects the dots and we gets insight on how characters are connected to each other.
The book show how corrupt these kinds of panchayats are. Siding with the people who have authority and influence, treating lower class people as slaves just because they are poor, Women are treated horribly-that parts really shook me and it was hard for me to read through it-,how people use traditional systems to oppress other people. It was disheartening to me that most of them are hard truths that still happening in 21st century.
I hated every character in the book especially men.The writing is rich and flowy, the plotline is great and the author executed it really well. This one ends in cliffhanger.
Recommend if you want a read that is so down to earth and can keep your raging emotions in check.