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In Afghanistan in 2007, where the Taliban rules and fathers curse the birth of daughters, Rahima’s parents, lacking a son, adopt the Afghan tradition of bacha posh. They dress Rahima as a boy and allow her to attend school, run errands, and play on the street with neighborhood boys until she reaches puberty. But when Rahima is married off at age 13 to a brutal warlord, freedom becomes an elusive dream.

Throughout her life, Rahima has heard stories about her great-great-grandmother Shekiba. Rahima gains courage to reclaim her freedom as she ponders the story of her ancestor, whose life bore a remarkable resemblance to her own.

The novelThe Pearl That Broke Its Shell gives readers a shocking, heartrending, and compassionate glimpse into a culture where “men could do what they wanted with women.” (HarperCollins)

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