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Publisher's Summary

In this intimate coming-of-age story set in the late 1970s, a young girl struggles to make sense of the chaos around her during Pakistan's political upheaval, where the military revolts, the embassy burns, and a terrible secret tears her world apart.
Eleven-year-old Aliya Shah lives a double life in Islamabad, Pakistan - at home with her Pakistani father and Dutch mother, and at the American School, where Aliya tries to downplay that she is a "half-and-half." But when a hit-and-run driver kills the son of the family's servant, Sadiq, who is also Aliya's dear friend, her world is turned upside down. After she discovers the truth behind the tragedy - a terrible secret that burdens her heart - her conflicted loyalties are tested as never before.
Based on the author's own experiences growing up in Islamabad, City of Spies offers a poignant and dramatic portrait of a tumultuous time, as seen through the eyes of a brave and compassionate young heroine struggling to find her place in the gray area between loyalty and complicity, family and country.
©2017 Sorayya Khan (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Wayne on 11-05-17

Beautifully written and narrated

City of Spies is not a spy novel; it is historical fiction which is also semi-autobiographical. The book is set in a politically unstable year of 1979 in Pakistan when the author was 11 years old. The author's father was a minor government official and her mother was a Dutch national. The final hour of the book consists entirely of author's comments mostly, but not entirely, about the current period and how the issues and people in the book have evolved. The publisher's summary is quite good, but it does not adequately cover the issues of 1979. The book begins about the time that democratically elected president Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was removed by a military coup (he was executed three months later). The book ends in late 1979 just after the after the US embassy was burned due to a false rumor. The revolution is Iran with US embassy personnel held hostage for 444 days occurs during 1979 impacting Pakistan and this novel.

City of Spies is about the protagonist and her family and the family's servants. Most is about her day to day life including school and how the political events impacted her, her family, and her friends. The book easily earns 5 stars; it is outstanding!.

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5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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