The Moonlit Cage by Linda Holeman
Darya is a young Muslim woman growing up in a small town in Afghanistan around the 1850s. She is strong willed, even though this is not appreciated in young women of her culture. She feels that her father does not love her very much and is really only close with her grandmother, who passes away shortly after the story starts. Her grandmother travelled and fell in love with a European man and believes the same fate is waiting for Darya, which helps Darya get through all the upcoming troubles of her live.
After her father decides to take a second wife, who is then found to be cheating with someone from her tribe, the second wife blames Darya and puts a curse on her. After this, no one will wed her, making her have to join a tribe that travel around the country. It's a completely new way of life for her and she knows she will miss her family, but she thinks this is the start of the life her grandmother spoke of.
This is just another example of literature that shows how oppressed females in parts of the Middle East are. Interestingly enough, despite the time frame of the novel being in the 1850s, I felt like it could have been modern day. I'm not sure if this indicates that not much has changed for that region of the world in the past 150 years?
The novel moved well and I got quite engaged with it. There were times where I questioned what Darya was doing and didn't feel as sorry for her as she felt for herself.
First Line: "I have always been told I was wicked."