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The Pearl that Broke Its Shell

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Afghan-American Nadia Hashimi's literary debut novel is a searing tale of powerlessness, fate, and the freedom to control one's own fate that combines the cultural flavor and emotional resonance of the works of Khaled Hosseini, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Lisa See.

In Kabul, 2007, with a drug-addicted father and no brothers, Rahima and her sisters can only sporadically attend school, and can rarely leave the house. Their only hope lies in the ancient custom of bacha posh, which allows young Rahima to dress and be treated as a boy until she is of marriageable age. As a son, she can attend school, go to the market, and chaperone her older sisters.

But Rahima is not the first in her family to adopt this unusual custom. A century earlier, her great-great grandmother, Shekiba, left orphaned by an epidemic, saved herself and built a new life the same way.

Crisscrossing in time, The Pearl the Broke Its Shell interweaves the tales of these two women separated by a century who share similar destinies. But what will happen once Rahima is of marriageable age? Will Shekiba always live as a man? And if Rahima cannot adapt to life as a bride, how will she survive?

Customer Reviews


If you love the writing style of Khaled Hosseini, then you will love this book. By far one of the best book I have read this summer.

The pearl that broke its shell

Good reading, but sad. It is good to realize the great nation we live in. I pray for all those girls and women that lives in those irrational and ignorant societies.

The Pearl that Broke Its Shell

Excellent story. Looking forward to reading more from this author.

The Pearl that Broke Its Shell
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Family
  • Published: May 06, 2014
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 480 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings