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One of our Books of the Year 2016.
A 17 year old Muslim girl relates this story of her childhood in Lahore, Pakistan, her flight to Clerkenwell, London, the loss of her mother, her arranged marriage at 16 and her extraordinary ability to pour out love. She clings on to the essence of it to help keep her safe. This is a frightening tale of the dominance of the man in the Muslim society and the horrors that some women suffer. It does get a bit over indulgent in its message of love but there is a very strong reason for that which adds to the extraordinary conclusion. I will give you no plot detail for any would spoil the power of the tale.
Set Me Free by Hina Belitz is a beautiful, unforgettable novel that will be devoured by fans of Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman. It shines a gentle light into the shadows of life and shows how sometimes reaching out to the world is all it takes to set you free ...Mani and Nu. Sister and brother. Forced to flee their home in fear of their lives, Mani and Nu find themselves in a dark London flat. When the worst happens, fate abandons them far from the family who might love them. And so Mani accepts an offer of marriage in hope of finding comfort for Nu - but her dreams of happiness soon evaporate and she is left with no way of revealing the truth about the life she and Nu are leading. Little by little, Mani reaches out to the world with love ...it is only a matter of time before the world reaches back for her.
Closing date: 11/12/2020
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.
Genevieve McAllister - 'A searing exposé of how family and cultural expectations can trap and even kill and a chilling reminder of how women are being treated, even today.'
Carrie Jones - 'A breath of fresh air - a story of brutality and guilt but also of love, recovery and redemption, written with knowledge and passion. I defy you to read it without shedding a tear.'
Victoria Halliday - "This is an interesting novel and the story of Mani's marriage is particularly compelling."
Sarah Harper - "A moving and yet uplifting account of the trials faced by some women, Set Me Free still remains full of hope."
Alexandra Harper-Williams - "This novel is a rare find - beautifully written, poignant and life-affirming."
Lindsey Whittle - "a slow-burning, absorbing novel which pulls you in to watch, with horrible fascination yet understanding."
Pauline Braisher - "it’s beautifully written, very descriptive but the story moves slowly"
Rosie Watch - "It was a very thought provoking book with a strong message of hope and struggling against oppression and cruelty."
Sharon Wood - "Overall though a thought provoking but enjoyable book."
Dawn Vanstone - "The eloquent writer shares vivid details, uses a wonderful turn of phrase and grasps the imagination of the reader, telling a frank and intricate story."
Sarah Tilley - "The best book I have read in a very long time. Absolutely beautiful."
Nicola Edwards - "A harrowing, but powerful book highlighting many emotional issues but proving hope, courage and love wins out."
Cat Hogwood -"An eye opening and moving book about betrayal, control but most of all love."
Suzanne James - "An intriguing tale that makes you think. I found this book became more and more thought-provoking as I read on. The reality of living with domestic violence being explored with sensitivity and intelligence."
Ann Alderton - 'Hina Belitz tackles the harrowing subject matter with a deft touch, great warmth and insightful sensitivity.'
Publication date: 25/08/2016
Publisher: Headline Review an imprint of Headline Publishing Group
|Publication date:||25th August 2016|
|Publisher:||Headline Review an imprint of Headline Publishing Group|
|Genres:||Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Relationship Stories,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Hina Belitz is a renowned employment lawyer who cares deeply about the issues raised in Set Me Free. This is her first novel. Photo credit © Rolf MarriottMore About Hina Belitz