An Infidel in Paradise

An Infidel in Paradise

by S.J. Laidlaw
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Set in Pakistan, this is the story of a teen girl living with her mother and siblings in a diplomatic compound. As if getting used to another new country and set of customs and friends isn't enough, she must cope with an increasingly tense political situation that becomes dangerous with alarming speed. Her life and those of her sister and brother depend on her

See more details below

  • Checkmark Kids' Club Eligible  Shop Now

Overview

Set in Pakistan, this is the story of a teen girl living with her mother and siblings in a diplomatic compound. As if getting used to another new country and set of customs and friends isn't enough, she must cope with an increasingly tense political situation that becomes dangerous with alarming speed. Her life and those of her sister and brother depend on her resourcefulness and the unexpected help of an enigmatic Muslim classmate.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Winner – IODE Violet Downey Book Award
Nominated – Snow Willow Award
Selected – OLA’s Best Bets List for Kids and Teens
Selected – VOYA’s Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers

“Laidlaw, a globetrotting social worker, puts her firsthand knowledge of faraway lands and cultures to good use in this exciting tale of a Canadian teen’s encounters with some of the best and worst features of a radically different society. Emma’s first-person, present-tense narration is realistic and compelling”
VOYA Magazine
 
“This is an honest and realistic story about being an outsider in another country (much of it is based on the author's own experiences)…. Laidlaw does not hold back from depicting some of the less-attractive aspects of Pakistani life, but she also conveys a sense of the beauty and wonder of this culture.”
School Library Journal
 
An Infidel in Paradise is a very well-written evocation of both a tormented teen and the exotic setting she finds herself in … teen readers will relate to Emma’s struggles and learn much from this excellent portrayal of culture clash.”
Quill and Quire
 
“Laidlaw has created a rich and layered text. Readers see Emma and her world through multiple lenses: teenager, diplomat, Canadian. Her descriptions of both the very rich and the very poor communities of Islamabad are carefully and respectfully drawn. Seeing this world through the eyes of a teenager gives the reader the opportunity to explore the differences in a very engaging way…. Highly recommended”
CM Magazine
 
“S.J. Laidlaw could have imbued An Infidel in Paradise with the same resentment that is implied in the scathing indictment of ‘Infidel!’ leveled against Emma but she does not.  Instead, she plays with the idea that the safety of ‘inside,’ whether it be the compound, one's comfort zone or culture, and the danger of ‘outside’ is not always the case. It has more to do with perception and broaching that transition with caution in an effort to make both territories manageable. Even Emma is able to find herself accepting her new life as An Infidel in Paradise.
—CanLit for Little Canadians

 
". . . I hope every teen reads this book, and that everyone who knows a teen reads it. An Infidel in Paradise was a pleasure to read (even if it did make me cry more than once), and I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more work by S.J. Laidlaw."
–About.com 

“…Laidlaw, a globetrotting social worker, puts her firsthand knowledge of faraway lands and cultures to good use in this exciting tale of a Canadian teen’s encounters with some of the best and worst features of a radically different society. Emma’s first-person, present-tense narration is realistic and compelling, providing entertaining contrasts between her thoughts and her actions.”
— VOYA

VOYA - Walter Hogan
Laidlaw's debut novel is set in the exotic and dangerous city of Islamabad, Pakistan. Sixteen-year-old Emma, along with her older brother and younger sister, has been abruptly uprooted from a pleasant posting in the Philippines and relocated to a walled diplomatic compound in the sprawling Pakistani capital. Their mother, a workaholic careerist in the Canadian diplomatic service, had taken the risky posting to get away from Manila as quickly as possible following the painful breakup of her marriage. Already unsettled by the absence of their father and the family's hasty departure from the comforts of Manila, Emma and her siblings experience profound culture shock in Pakistan. Then Emma meets gorgeous, wealthy, charismatic Mustapha at international school, and sparks begin to fly between the unlikely pair. At the same time, however, the streets of Islamabad are set ablaze with anti-Western riots, putting the lives of all of Emma's family and friends at risk. Laidlaw, a globetrotting social worker, puts her firsthand knowledge of faraway lands and cultures to good use in this exciting tale of a Canadian teen's encounters with some of the best and worst features of a radically different society. Emma's first-person, present-tense narration is realistic and compelling, providing entertaining contrasts between her thoughts and her actions. She begins as a smart but rather shallow and self-centered Western teen, experiences mystery, romance, and danger in an exotic setting, and emerges wiser for the adventure. Reviewer: Walter Hogan
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Sixteen-year-old Emma, daughter of a Canadian diplomat, has moved from country to country all her life, but after her parents' rancorous divorce, she is forced to move from the Philippines to a diplomatic compound in Islamabad, where her mother has been posted. Emma resents the numerous restrictions, the loss of her friends, and the dullness of life in Pakistan, and is angry about her father's desertion and her mother's constant work-related absences. She alienates other students on the first day at her new school when she gives an honest answer to the question, "How are you enjoying Pakistan?" but she eventually makes some tentative friendships and tries to address some of the poverty-related issues around her. However, political tensions and her own ill-advised attraction to a handsome Pakistani classmate lead to trouble, and on one horrifying night, Emma is trapped outside the diplomatic enclave in the middle of a riot. She is attacked and nearly raped before being rescued by Pakistani soldiers. However, the novel ends on a hopeful note with Emma reaching out to her family and new friends. This is an honest and realistic story about being an outsider in another country (much of it is based on the author's own experiences). Emma could have easily come off as whiny and unsympathetic, but the author shows that she has legitimate reasons for her grief and pain. Laidlaw does not hold back from depicting some of the less-attractive aspects of Pakistani life, but she also conveys a sense of the beauty and wonder of this culture.—Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781770493049
Publisher:
Tundra
Publication date:
02/12/2013
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
12 - 11 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >