Review: A Place for Us

Review: A Place for Us

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thinking of his future sometimes felt like looking down a long tunnel, and even if he squinted he could hardly picture what his life would be like when he stepped out at the other end.

A Place for Us follows the lives of an Indian-American Muslim family, gathered in celebration of their eldest daughter, Hadia’s, wedding. Amar, the youngest of the family, reunites with his family for the first time in three years. And his parent’s, Rafiq and Layla, must face the choices they all made all those years ago. A Place for Us spans decades through the eyes of a different family member, marking pivotal moments in the past that broke the bonds and pulled them apart. 

It isn’t often a book that manages to enchant me as such as this book did. I had closed the final page at 2 am and truly felt what it mean to have a heavy heart. A Place for Us hit me harder than I would have ever expected. I wasn’t even planning on reviewing this book, because I feel like anything I write could never truly explain how much this book resonated with me. 

Being character-driven, Mirza blew me away at how well each character come through. Amar is the youngest of the family, his departure from the family was years in the making. He feels trapped within the demands of his family, culture and internal turmoil. I felt extremely attached to him especially in the deep moments where he feels like as though anything he does is never good enough.  Hadia was almost like looking in the mirror. Her constant need to please her family and community, her entire self-worth is built upon approval. The enormous pressure to succeed as the eldest silences some of her best thought. However, Huda, the middle child, was almost non-existent. She appears as a messenger between Amar and Hadia, but other than that, her presence was almost forgettable, whether it was intentional or not is unclear. Rafiq and Layla are of an older generation who struggle to raise their kids within their cultural values which, in turn, affect the way their children balance themselves between two different cultures. I found myself quite angry at their actions, their adamant behaviour quite literally pushed their children away and they don’t realise it until it’s too late. 

Overall, A Place for Us is overflowing with little moments that resonated with me deeply. It emphasises the importance of family, love, and most importantly, forgiveness. The structure of A Place for Us is unconventional: the novel switches from points of view, jumping from the past to the present. I know that other readers can find it confusing, but I found that Mirza pulled it off well. Her writing is naturalistic and easy to understand. What isn’t said is often more affecting and resonating, and Mirza is a natural at tugging at the heartstrings in the quietest of moments.


Monthly Rewind: January 2021

Monthly Rewind: January 2021


I actually surprised myself by reading 15 books this month. I have never read this much in a month, but I chalk it up to the UK being on its third lockdown. And now that I’ve graduated, all I can do it look for graduate jobs and read. It feel weird having this much time to read, but I quite enjoyed most of the books I read this month!

  • Six of Crows – I have finally read Six of Crows! I had bought a copy back when it was released but I hadn’t finished the Grisha Trilogy yet. So this book slowly fell down my TBR list because I had taken so long to read the first series. I didn’t like the trilogy that much, but I can definitely see the improvement in SOC. Pray I don’t take four years to read its sequel.
  • Loveboat, Taipei – I have really surprised myself this year with reading more contemporary novels and actually enjoying them for once! Loveboat was so good!
  • The Chosen – Eh, a little disappointing considering I have enjoyed reading Matharu’s previous series with my cousin.
  • Remnants of the Atonement – First DNF of the year 😦 I requested an arc because of a reddit post, but now I feel like I’ve been bamboozled.
  • Get a Life, Chloe Brown – “Yours, Red.” Two damn words and I was a MESS. Damn, who is this person I’ve become that suddenly enjoys contemporary.
  • The Song of Achilles (RE-READ) – I have been playing too much of Supergiant’s Hades. I’ve been desperately trying to reunite Patroclus and Achilles in-game, but it’s hard because I can never seem to find the room where Patroclus can be found.
  • A Place for Us – A book that hit a bit too deep for me. Man, I was sobbing at 3 am.
Continue reading “Monthly Rewind: January 2021”