Author: Qaisra Shahraz
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9695160670
A dramatic story of family intrigue, religious passions and rip-roaring romance, The Holy Woman is a remarkable new novel of memorable characters and events.
Zarri Bano is a most fortunate young woman. She has wealth, beauty and brains, and plenty of freedom. At the age of 27, she remains unmarried, since none of the suitors she has met at University in Karachi or within her privileged family circle come close to her ideal man.
Then she meets Sikander Din, a handsome young business tycoon, who sweeps her off her feet. The pair fall in love and wish to marry, but Zarri Bano’s father Habib Khan has other ideas. Imagining his daughter has been snubbed, he takes an instant dislike to Sikander.
A family tragedy follows. Jafar, the Khans only son is killed in a riding accident and Habib is left with a terrible dilemma: who will inherit and manage his lands?
Resurrecting an ancient and terrible tradition, Habib decides to make Zarri Bano his heiress. After a ceremony of marriage to Quran, she will lead a life of religious duty, and of celibacy. Wedding, children, the love of a man and a woman – all will be denied to her.
For Zarri Bano is about to become her clan’s Shahzadi Ibadat – The Holy Woman.
A lean, lyrical meditation on tradition and independence, sensuality and sacrifice, set against the moral battleground of modern day Pakistan, Shahraz’s debut beguiles throughout.
Very moving tale of love, passion and Islamic traditions…difficult to put down…compelling read.
-BBC National Asia Network
Stunning debut novel…an intricate study of love, family, politics and sacrifice.
A remarkable new novel.
Intriguing tale of love, envy and jealousy…Compulsive reading…Must not be missed…A definite hit.