Reader reviews and comments on When the Moon Is Low, plus links to write your own review.

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When the Moon Is Low

A Novel

by Nadia Hashimi

When the Moon Is Low by Nadia Hashimi X
When the Moon Is Low by Nadia Hashimi
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2015, 400 pages
    Apr 2016, 384 pages

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There are currently 21 reader reviews for When the Moon Is Low
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Jennifer K. (Camden, SC)

Such a timely book!
Our book club picked Nadia Hashimi's first novel, The Pearl that Broke its Shell, so I was eager to read her next novel. She doesn't disappoint!
Hashimi's evocative prose brings to life the story of a refugee family fleeing persecution and looking to start a new life in England.
When the Moon is Low gives us an insight into the world of refugees--something that Europe is currently struggling with. Although this book deals with refugees from Afghanistan, the story is familiar from the news reports of Syrian refugees.
Rebecca L. (Torrington, CT)

Great book - definitely a must read!
I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book is mostly about Fereiba and her family. The book starts out when she is born and tells the story of her life living in Kabul, Afghanistan. Her childhood is not what I would call happy but she had a roof over her head and plenty of food and necessities. She ends up marrying Mahmoud and together they have children. After Fereiba's first child though, things begin to change in Kabul. Women are no longer along to go out unless escorted by men and there are many other restrictions placed on their lives, including that girls are no longer allowed to attend school. Fereiba had been a teacher before the new laws were imposed but she is no longer given the choice to have a job at all. Though she was unsure in the beginning of their marriage, Mahmoud and Fereiba do well together and end up falling in love. They keep their children grounded and try to give them as normal a life as possible amid all the bombings and war and terror. It isn't until tragedy strikes though that Fereiba realizes she and her children need to escape Afghanistan. And so begins a journey to England, where Fereiba's sister lives and has invited them to come stay until they can get on their own feet.
During this time in Afghanistan's history, hundreds of thousands of refugees were seeking asylum in other countries due to the terror tactics that the Taliban has imposed on the Afghani people. Fereiba and her family have a long journey ahead of them, and it is far from easy. Each country along the way has camps of refugees living in squalor, hoping to be granted asylum so they won't be sent back. Many who are captured however are sent back to the last country they had traveled through or to Afghanistan itself. Fereiba is also struggling with traveling with her infant child who is discovered along the route to have a heart condition that he will die from if it is not addressed. Fereiba is one of the lucky few refugees who finds kind souls along the way who help her and her family on their journey to a better life.
Overall I honestly loved this book. The subject matter itself is obviously moving and sad and (hopefully) fills the reader with compassion and empathy for these poor souls. The author though really just did such an amazing job with the story, it was beautifully written. It was poignant and touching and I got so involved in the characters and their lives. Fereiba's journey was full of heart-breaks and tough choices but in that situation what can you do but try and give your children the best life possible? The ending was left slightly open but I can't help but believe there was a happy ending. This is definitely a must read.
Sandy F. (Davis, CA)

In our time, a must read!
With refugees and migrants struggling to escape misery and death, this book captures the reality of what that means in a way that gets under your skin and into your heart. Nadia Hashimi's book starts out a bit slow but soon becomes one you won't put down until the end. It has aspects that keep you on the edge of your seat to find out what happens next. It has heart, describing the life and limits of an afghan woman and barely teenage boy bringing alive the terror, brutality and unjust actions of politics, war and sometimes religion. The unbelievable love, courage and tenacity of being a refugee as well as the smell of fear is all in this book. Yet, it is somehow hopeful. I learned a great deal about so much and enjoyed this book immensely. Somehow every nation must find a way to welcome and support refugees -- they are leaving a hell we can't imagine.
Rebecca H. (Bolton, CT)

When the Moon is Low
A luminous novel about the toll on a family of becoming refugees, When the Moon is Low is the second novel by Nadia Hashimi, author of The Pearl That Broke Its Shell. The story alternates between the viewpoints of Fereiba, a young Afghan widow, and her teenage son Saleem. Along with daughter Samira and baby Aziz, they make the perilous journey from Kabul into Iran, then to Turkey and on to Athens, where Saleem is arrested. The story then follows the separate journeys, perils, friendships and heartbreak of Fereiba and Saleem. Hashimi's writing is spare and poetic, and the story moving and suspenseful. The issue of political refugees is a particularly timely one presently, their plight featuring daily in the news. When the Moon is Low illuminates the human face of the refugee situation, and is also a story of family devotion and courage under terrible circumstances. This is a wonderful novel.
Mary Anne R. (Towson, MD)

When the Moon Is Low
Nadia Hashimi has written a novel that touched my heart. Fereiba's love of family and Saleeem's burning desire to support and protect his family as he matures from boy to man propels this novel. I held my breath as each challenge resulted in success,escapes or another opportunity.

I loved the author's character . I cheered for Saleem's every success. Th author writes with a beautiful poetic style that bubbled up an emotional response from me.

With the world's eyes upon the situation of the refugees from many countries,this novel reveals the soul of our brothers and sisters searching for a life of hope free from oppression.
Esther L. (Newtown, PA)

Book Club Worthy
A beautifully written story of one family's struggle for survival after the Taliban overtakes Afghanistan. Their journey towards freedom takes them through Iran, Turkey and Greece towards Western Europe and to London where family and safety await them.

Unfortunately, many refugees are still trying to reach freedom. Last night's news documented Syrian refugees trapped in Hungary trying to reach Germany. They drown traveling on dangerous waters, suffocate in stifling tractor trailers, all trying to reach a new life.

I thank BookBrowse for the chance to preview When The Moon Is Low by Nadia Hashimi. I intend to recommend this novel to my book club and want to read her previous novel.
Laura E. (El Cajon, CA)

When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi
I loved this book! Not only were the characters so well written that I felt like I knew them, the story was totally mesmerizing. The lengths that the characters go to in this story of their dangerous journeys to reach a place where they can be away from wars and poverty and the Taliban is amazing. While reading this book, I was thankful that I have never had such a life. This book also shows us a side of what the Afghan people have had to deal with that is not always portrayed. It certainly made me look at immigration in a different way. I recommend this book to everyone.
Florence K. (Northridge, CA)

When the Moon Is Low
Love, death, birth, chaos in a rocket-ravaged Kabul, and the fortunes of a family emigrating from the turmoil of Afghanistan are the themes of this "in the moment" book. It is also a coming-of-age story as a young man separated from his family tries desperately to rejoin them; the obstacles he encounters are many.

I found the book intriguing and difficult to put down. Inasmuch as some important issues remained unresolved, a sequel to WHEN THE MOON IS LOW would make for more enticing reading.
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Beyond the Book:
  Afghan Women's Writing Project

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