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The Holy Woman
 
 

The Holy Woman [Kindle Edition]

Qaisra Shahraz
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description

Product Description

A romantic story of love and betrayal set in a wealthy Muslim community, with all the pressures and conflicts that modern life and old traditions bring.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 701 KB
  • Print Length: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Arcadia Books (10 Jun 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DAJ7N8U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #66,665 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Qaisra Shahraz

Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Qaisra Shahraz is a prize-winning and critically acclaimed novelist and scriptwriter. Born in Pakistan, she has lived in Manchester (UK) since childhood and gained two Masters Degrees in English and European literature and scriptwriting. Being a highly successful and achieving woman on an international scale, Qaisra was recognised as being one of 100 influential Pakistani women in Pakistan Power 100 List (2012). Previously she was nominated for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards and for the Muslim News Awards for Excellence.

Her novels, The Holy Woman and Typhoon, are translated into several languages. The Holy Woman (2001) won the Golden Jubilee Award, was the 'Best Book of the Month' for Waterstones and has become a bestseller in Indonesia and Turkey. She has appeared in many international writers' festivals and book fairs including in Abu Dhabi, Jaipur and Beijing. Her award-winning drama serial Dil Hee To Hai was broadcast on Pakistani Television in 2003. Qaisra has recently completed a third novel Revolt, two volumes of short stories: A Pair of Jeans and Train to Krakow; she is now working on her fourth novel The Henna Painter. Several of her prize-winning short stories are published in the UK and abroad. Her work is being studied in schools and Universities. A critical analysis of her works has been done in a book entitled The Holy and the Unholy: Critical Essays on Qaisra Shahraz's Fiction (2011. Qaisra Shahraz has another successful career in education, as a consultant, teacher trainer and inspector.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Every now and then, a book comes along that you can't get out of your head, and once you finish it you need a few book free days to take it all in. This is one such book for me. It transports you into the colourful, exotic world of modern day Pakistan, where ancient customs and traditions are thrown into the blender with encroachments from the Western world. Our heroine, Zarri-Bano is enchanting. Privileged, indulged, highly educated, intelligent, stunningly beautiful, she seems to have it all. In a society where marriages are normally arranged by the parents, she refuses suitor after suitor, finding no man who can meet her high expectations of a husband. Initially there seems to be much condemnation of this patriarchal society, and I feared this would turn out to be little more than a feminist rant against Islam, but it developed into so much more.
When tragedy strikes her wealthy family, Zarri-Bano's life is turned suddenly upside down, as she is obliged by the duty she feels towards her father to obey his will, and adopt a life of religious devotion. This sassy, feisty, modern woman turns her back on the man she has fallen in love with, pulls a Burqa over her head, and immerses herself completely in the ancient role of 'holy woman'. The story charts her struggle to come to terms with the new life she has chosen to lead, and the effect this has on the men who decreed it, and her mother, who abhors it, but feels powerless to resist.
The characters are without exception 3 dimensional and full of life. Both the men and the women are flawed, and we see them all at their worst and at their best. The strong sense of honour and duty that rules their lives is fascinating, as is the important ideal of female modesty, which is totally alien to us in 21st century Britain.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Holy Woman 4 Dec 2004
Format:Paperback
This is book is definately one of THE most riveting books ive ever read. i could not put it down and became so involved in Zarri Bano's character and life that i truly felt for her and what she was going through. i was very sad when the book ended and could have carried on reading much more about her life.i thoroughly recommend, and constantly do recommend this book to my all i know, as Ms Shahraz's talent for writing and creating will pull anyone right into Zarri Bano's world and hold you spellbound there with a genuine wish and need to know more. And once that need is there the next natural step is to read Typhoon, the next gripping tale from Ms Shahraz.Go On!!! Have read!!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read 20 Jan 2006
Format:Paperback
I read the holy woman a couple of months ago and found it to be a wonderful read. I really found it difficult to put the book down. It has all the ingredients of a great love story with the added bonus of a mysterious and intriguing culture which really does give this story the edge. Most of my family have now read the book and all have thoroughly enjoyed it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Winner! - The Universality of Human Experience 11 Jan 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The Holy Woman is very much a novel that spans countries and continents, unravelling cultures and human emotions, penetrating the feudal psyche to elicit responses to all that baffles outsiders.
Shahraz’ story starts off with romance in the air. Zarri Bano, university educated, rich, beautiful, modern to the core of her coloured nails. In comes Sikandar, the dashing city bred hero of romantic dreams. It was to be a marriage made in heaven, save the jealousy of the heroine's father. Zarri Bano’s only brother dies in a riding accident and her marriage is called off as she is destined to become the ‘holy woman’, to be denied a husband, children, love, everything that would go to make the book a nice juicy romance ending in a 'lived happily ever after scenario’. Thereafter it was the commonality, the universality of human experience that she sought to unfurl.
Shahraz’s courage of conviction is infectious. Where Zarri Bano the main protagonist of a romantic horror is beautiful, glamorous and a feminist at that, forcefully agrees to succumb to feudal tradition she also emerges as the winner. It is this journey from a pure romantic to the prototype of the Muslim woman whose actions have a reasoning methodology that makes for the substance of The holy woman.
She reconstructs the original Islamic sensibility, freeing it from traditional patriarchy. So on the one hand is a heroine who admits to being, like her female peers, “a bead in a tapestry that our fathers and elders weave”. At the other end of the spectrum she emerges as the final victor capable of retaliating with conviction to the inquisitive English journalist's empathy. “Don't you feel oppressed by this (veil)?” Zarri Bano answers back, “We are not freaks. We are women who like to dress modestly. Please treat us with respect.”
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful debut for this British author. 16 April 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Zarri-bano is a beautiful and rich woman but before you can begin to feel any jealousy an awful sequence of events turns her life upside down. Just as she finally meets someone whom she could have married this is all taken away. Though this story is about love it is also about devotion and duty. This duty, both to family and religion takes the heroine and us around the world. The book though it deals with Islam is not the usual presentation of fundamentalism. It in fact shows normal muslims going about their normal everyday lives. Though to start with the heroine and the reader are horrified by the idea of a muslim 'nun' it does allow us to see the scholarly, gentle side of Islam. Apparently there are no real nuns in the religion and so the villain of the piece is definitely the father. The setting in a village in Pakistan is unusual but the villagers are fascinating. Their whole way of life and attitude is so different and yet not unlike a small community anywhere in the world.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars The Holy Woman
To be honest I just didn't get it. The characters were OK, the writing was OK but I didn't know what I was supposed to get out of the experience of reading this book. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Elizabeth
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is a great read, I was there throughout the book.
Published 2 months ago by LindaA
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed reading this on my Kindle - lovely long tale ...
I enjoyed reading this on my Kindle - lovely long tale of love conquering all. The people/settings/story-line different from the usual run-of-the-mill ones.
Published 2 months ago by Rosy-Posy
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Brilliant book, didn't want to put it down - was captivated and completely transported into the Pakistani village!
Published 2 months ago by Rebecca
5.0 out of 5 stars A Worthwhile Read
Easy to read and explains a lot of the history very concisely.
Published 3 months ago by Marie
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyed this very much
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing read
What an amazing book. I loved it from the beginning, it truly brings the people and Pakistani village community to life.
Published 4 months ago by SusieP
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book - brilliant author
This is an excellent book which was recommended by a close friend.
I am in a privileged position to do some work with Qaisra - a true inspiration, full of passion and... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Syka Yasmin Hussain
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
I really enjoyed this book and I felt that it did give me a view into the position of women in society in Pakistan. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ms. A. L. Benn
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Was happy to keep reading this book and felt the atmosphere of the places visited. Would read similar by the same author again.
Published 4 months ago by Wilma Naismith Prentice
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