Monday, June 04, 2007

Ask Me No Questions, by Marina Budhos

Nadira and her family are illegal aliens living in New York City. They dream of someday becoming legal and being able to live a normal life. But when 9/11 happens, a crackdown on illegal immigrants (and Muslims like Nadira's family in particular) changes all of this. Nadira's father is detained and she must find the strength to keep her family together.

A harrowing tale which is fictional, but based on real life events, this novel will intriniscally appeal to more liberal readers, who will feel indignation at the social injustices documented in this story. The author (to her credit) doesn't stretch this, reminding us at several points that the family has broken the law. Beyond the politics, there are some strong characterizations but a strangely thin and underdeveloped plot. And when teh story wraps up a bit too neatly at the end, I felt that the effort had been fairly wasted. A powerful topic, but a mixed review for the story.

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