It is an honour to be reviewing this book by Awais Khan, I can promise you, this one is going to leave you broken.
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
A young woman defies convention in a small Pakistani village, with devastating results for her and her family. A stunning, immense beautiful novel about courage, family and the meaning of love, when everything seems lost…
In sixteen-year-old Abida’s small Pakistani village, there are age-old rules to live by, and her family’s honour to protect. And, yet, her spirit is defiant and she yearns to make a home with the man she loves.
When the unthinkable happens, Abida faces the same fate as other young girls who have chosen unacceptable alliances – certain, public death. Fired by a fierce determination to resist everything she knows to be wrong about the society into which she was born, and aided by her devoted father, Jamil, who puts his own life on the line to help her, she escapes to Lahore and then disappears.
Jamal goes to Lahore in search of Abida – a city where the prejudices that dominate their village take on a new and horrifying form – and father and daughter are caught in a world from which they may never escape.
Moving from the depths of rural Pakistan, riddled with poverty and religious fervour, to the dangerous streets of over-populated Lahore, No Honour is a story of family, of the indomitable spirit of love in its many forms … a story of courage and resilience, when all seems lost, and the inextinguishable fire that lights one young woman’s battle for change.
Well, I think it’s clear by reading the blurb that this is no cosy tale but rather one that is brutally raw in its honesty and one which I promise you, will stay with you, a long time after your turn the last page.
I don’t think I’ve ever read an opening chapter so laced with emotion, it was almost dripping off the page. What an emotional punch it packed. I had to take a break to compose myself before moving on.
Awais Khan is a stunningly talented and visual writer; his books are not just to be read, they are to be experienced. Sights, sounds and scents all vie for your attention, throwing you into the heart of the story. And what a story this is.
He has taken an extremely difficult and emotive subject and created a believable and heart wrenching story around it. He has done this with sensitivity but never afraid to shy away from the horrific truth surrounding this vile practice. There are parts which are extremely difficult to read and I’d lie if I said that this was an easy read. It’s not and nor should it be; it is a truth that must be exposed
It is impossible to read this and not be shocked, horrified or disgusted at what goes on. Although it filled me with despair, it also gave me hope.
Please, go buy this book and read it, you will not be disappointed.
No Honour is available to buy via