Though separated by over a century in years, Rahima and Shekiba are abused by the men and women they live with as each experiences her own personal subjugation under the harsh rule of husband and extended family. Held in their homes without contact with the outside world, they only have value when they give birth to sons. Considered second class in all ways, women are kept ignorant so that they can be controlled. How each deals with her situation is often heartbreaking but ultimately heroic.
Although I could hardly bear to put this book down, at times I had to step away, take a deep breath, count my blessings, and be thankful that I live where I do in this time. I don't think I would have lasted more than a day or two had I faced the lives of Rahima or Shekiba. I will think about this powerful theme and the plight of any woman forced to live as a possession to her family or a man. I think this is a book that begs discussion by those of us who enjoy the freedoms we have in a world where other women do not have the same privilege and luxury to be all that they can be only because of being female.