Payback

Overview


Like some of her friends, 18-year-old Halima, a Muslim, has moved with her family to London, and her horizons are beginning to expand. Then, just as she is about to start university, she discovers her father's secret plan: to marry her to the son of a distant relation in Pakistan who once did him a favor. Halima is to be the repayment of the debt, and it's payback time. The question is, will Halima, who is now immersed in a new life far from her former village, find the inner resources to resist? Or will she ...
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Overview


Like some of her friends, 18-year-old Halima, a Muslim, has moved with her family to London, and her horizons are beginning to expand. Then, just as she is about to start university, she discovers her father's secret plan: to marry her to the son of a distant relation in Pakistan who once did him a favor. Halima is to be the repayment of the debt, and it's payback time. The question is, will Halima, who is now immersed in a new life far from her former village, find the inner resources to resist? Or will she give in to the pressures of family and culture and forsake her new life in London, along with her dreams? This timely book offers an exciting story of courage and friendship set against a background of traditional cultural attitudes in conflict with contemporary feelings. Payback questions the custom of arranged marriages and Hindu and Muslim attitudes toward them, while inviting young readers to do the same.
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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 5–10—At 10, Halima leaves her Pakistani village and moves to London with her family, where she attends school, learns English, takes up debate, and befriends independent Kate. When she enters City University at 18, Halima learns that her despotic father long ago arranged her marriage to a distant relation in return for a personal favor, and she finds herself caught in desperation between loyalty to her family and the dreams she has for her own future as a politician. With the aid of Kate and a sympathetic teacher, Halima resists her family's pressure and flees, going into hiding. Her rejected bridegroom's family retaliates by having her kidnapped in a tensely dramatic climax. In this tale of clashing cultures set against a backdrop of strong family ties and traditional Muslim faith, Hayes writes clearly and concisely, switching the narrative voice among the characters and letting the dynamics of the story simmer and build realistically. The novel is based on a true story.—Joyce Adams Burner, National Archives at Kansas City, MO
Kirkus Reviews
Raised in Pakistan but now living in London and attending City University, Halima realizes that the longer she lives there, the more she is drifting apart from her family. Now, a deal made by her father when she was eight threatens her new life, and unless she can summon the strength to go against her culture and assert herself, she may be forced into an arranged marriage. As she says, "I was the bait which had sealed the deal all those years ago. And now it was payback time." Halima goes into hiding, and the story grows tense. She is abducted, and alternating first-person voices heighten the drama, as those who care about her tell their stories while racing the clock to prevent Halima from being returned to Pakistan. A good deal of the drama is undercut by the front and back covers, which give away much of the story, but the simple, fast-paced prose makes Halima's journey worth following. (Thriller. 10 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845079352
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
  • Publication date: 11/1/2009
  • Pages: 208
  • Age range: 12 - 15 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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