The Pearl That Broke Its Shell

  • by Nadia Hashimi
  • Narrated by Gin Hammond
  • 16 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Afghan American Nadia Hashimi's literary debut is a searing tale of powerlessness, fate, and the freedom to control one's own fate that combines the cultural flavor and emotional resonance of the works of Khaled Hosseini, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Lisa See.
In Kabul, 2007, with a drug-addicted father and no brothers, Rahima and her sisters can only sporadically attend school and can rarely leave the house. Their only hope lies in the ancient custom of bacha posh, which allows young Rahima to dress and be treated as a boy until she is of marriageable age. As a son, she can attend school, go to the market, and chaperone her older sisters.
But Rahima is not the first in her family to adopt this unusual custom. A century earlier, her great-aunt Shekiba, left orphaned by an epidemic, saved herself and built a new life the same way.
Crisscrossing in time, The Pearl That Broke Its Shellinterweaves the tales of these two women separated by a century who share similar destinies. But what will happen once Rahima is of age? Will Shekiba always live as a man? And if Rahima cannot adapt to life as a bride, how will she survive?

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Story you will never forget

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes I would. This audiobook has so much to offer in terms of engaging the listener and creating images in the mind that stir the heart.


What other book might you compare The Pearl That Broke Its Shell to and why?

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Both authors weave multiple stories within the story and show how other cultures live, love, and believe. The social fabrics are so well presented in these two novels yet speak volumes as to the underlying truth. Different from us in America, yet utterly human and with the same emotions and desires.


What does Gin Hammond bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Well, her narrative style was superlative. Although she doesn't have the masculine voice timber, her style made the male characters believable anyhow and gave them depth. I think just reading the book wouldn't have been nearly as visceral as her narrative provided.


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Follow your heart.


Any additional comments?

I hated for the story to end. I'll probably listen again and it'll be all fresh and new and wonderful once more. Excellent story and great writing.

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- Laura Lea Evans

Powerful, compelling

Powerful, compelling. What a good read. It always grieves me to see how people in other countries are treated and this book as no exception. What these women go through is absolutely horrifying. I have read several books of this type and have to say that I think the author did a great job with this book. She gave a unique perspective by having one of the girls be a bacha posh and then showing her life after that time as well as the lives of others in Afghan. So thankful that I live in the USA and we don’t have to face things like this today.
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- Compute

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-06-2014
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.