Book Reviews

Genre: Historical Fiction

Key Stage: KS3+

Rating: ★★★★★

The Night Diary, Veera Hiranandani (2018)

Plot: It’s 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders. Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn’t know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it’s too dangerous to stay in what is now Pakistan, Nisha and her family become refugees and embark first by train but later on foot to reach her new home. Told through Nisha’s letters to her mother, The Night Diary is a heartfelt story of one girl’s search for home, for her own identity and for a hopeful future.

Opinion: The risky and dangerous journey in the book felt rather unpredictable to the point where it only got more exciting and ominous that drew me in due to the short and understandable, yet powerful words used to describe emotions and scenery.

The book itself has a very limited amount of words on each page but carried a broad meaning in between the lines that made it relatable and real no matter who the reader is.

Every last word of a sentence felt like a cliff-hanger and gave me the addiction to carry on. The theme around family and adventure mixed in turned out to make a beautiful, emotional and a shocker of a story. 

Reviewer: Marzia Zamani

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