Baby’s Breath by Shahnaz Zaidi is a beautiful novel on an autistic child’s journey from childhood to choosing career and life partner. I loved the multi-culture of the novel and it was full of sub stories in its stronghold. I have met and seen autistic children. It takes a great amount of hard work and patience to shape up their lives even for basic things.
The cover page is simple and meaningful. Baby’s Breath is a soft flower. It needs to be reared properly with a lot of care and softness and politeness. Thus, the title is apt, as the lead character Pari Khan too needed a lot of attention and care and love. The story starts at Hasanpur. In one of the grandest Haveli lives a Muslim family, headed by Bibi Saheb and cared by one old lady called Bua. They get a baby on their door one day. They accept her as their child. Bibi Saheb acts her mother. The family at Haveli is long but fragmented; many members live in the UK. So, it is a novel of diversity as well.
The girl Pari Khan suffers from ASD – a sort of autism. The entire family from India and the UK nurture her. They send her for schooling, then boarding education, and then in the UK for higher studies. Ultimately the girl picks up her field and life partner. So, the story is how she lives in an adopted family, how culture and other things affect her life. The novel basically deals with caring of less privileged children. Pari Khan’s life is inspiring and it can ignite the hope in millions of parents that are grappling with autistic children in their lives. I sign in appreciation for the story building and sub stories of culture and different land from time and again. All the characters are mature and well-sketched, they play their roles perfectly and nudge the novel in a measured pace. I would love to recommend this book to millions of people for hope building. From this novel, I learnt that life is a tender thing, it needs to be taken care properly. The way they people supported and adorned Pari is really inspiring; I wish the same for millions of people across the globe.
The narration is captivating and language is lucid. The author made a point not to put repeated stuff to drive the story. All is good, if one point that I want to suggest is that the story could be a bit shorter, otherwise a good-to-go story from all perspectives.
If you liked the review and wanted to delve deep in the story, please buy the book from Amazon or Kindle.