Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a starred review, PW praised the ``eloquent, unpretentious language'' and ``intoxicating blend of heart-pounding adventure and social issues'' of this sequel to Shabanu. Ages 12-up. (June)
In a starred review, PW praised the "eloquent, unpretentious language" and "intoxicating blend of heart-pounding adventure and social issues" of this sequel to Shabanu. Ages 12-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Haveli shows us the Pakistan of the upper class and the social constraints that bind the women. It is a tale of a woman's survival against incredible odds. According to the author, every story, every character, every detail is based on real things that happened to real people. Staples wrote her books to push aside the myths that exist in the West about Islamic culture and to expose the richness underneath. There is a haunting quality that invites women of all ages to think about the value systems of different cultures. Due to the material that is sometimes sexual and complex, the book is recommended for mature young adult readers. School Library Journal Best Book.
"Shabanu": "Daughter of the Wind" (1989), with its wholly realized characters and its glimpses into another culture, had a presence not easily found in young adult books. It is often difficult for a sequel to generate the same excitement evoked by a first novel from a talented, fresh voice, but that is not the case here. "Haveli" will hold readers with the same rapt attention as its predecessors, and their involvement with the young Pakistani woman, Shabanu, her friends, and family will linger. The story picks up five years later. Shabanu, given in marriage to an elderly, powerful man, has now presented him a daughter, Mumtaz, who means everything to her mother. Though her husband adores Shabanu, he has neither the time nor the inclination to protect her from the various cruelties and intrigues that occur in a household where there are three cultured senior wives who look down on Shabanu as a desert interloper. To protect her daughter, Shabanu is constantly making plans for their safety should her husband die, but when Shabanu becomes involved in a plan to save her only friend from a disastrous marriage and begins having feelings for her husband's nephew, her situation becomes increasingly perilous. Staples brews a potent mix here: the issue of a woman's role in a traditional society, page-turning intrigue, tough women characters, and a fluidity of writing that blends it all together. Staples has some very strong things to say about the lack of power some women have over their own lives, but the reader never hears preaching. Rather, as in the best stories, the message comes through the characters, their anguish and their triumphs.
From the Publisher
“Again, Staples imbues Shabanu and her beautiful, brutally repressive world with a splendid reality that transcends the words on the page. Admirers of the intelligent and courageous Shabanu will thirst for more.”—Starred, Kirkus Reviews
“Engrossing . . . a swiftly moving adventure story, set in modern Pakistan.”—School Library Journal, Starred
“Staples brews a potent mix here. . . . Haveli will hold readers with rapt attention.”—Booklist, Starred
“Staples’s portrayal of Pakistan is remarkably even-handed: she acknowledges the society’s inequities while celebrating its beauty and warmth. Intoxicating.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred