Seventeen-year-old Ameera Hassan has just finished school and her friendship with Tariq is growing. But when her father hears of it he sends Ameera to stay with his family in Azad Kashmir to attend her cousin Jamila's wedding. Only when she gets there does she discover the devastating truth - the marriage is not Jamila's but her own. Described as unputdownable!
Themes: Asian content, friendship, forced marriage, Pakistani culture, Islam, Christianity
Notable Book, CBCA, 2011
Selected as one of the 5 top YA reads of 2010 in SA Weekend, The Advertiser, 18/12/10, p.26.
Ameera thinks she is visiting family: her father is arranging something more permanent. Colourful Pakistani wedding customs and facts about forced marriage enrich a gripping contemporary adventure.
What people are saying
Marrying Ameera is a thrilling read.
Hilary Adams, Bookseller & Publisher August 2010
There have been other young adult novels about arranged marriage...For me Marrying Ameera has leapt to the top of the list now: it's contemporary and cross cultural, exciting and touching.
The story examines the impact of old and new cultures in conflict in an accessible way.
Judy Blyton, Viewpoint
Hawke avoids judgement and clearly portrays the conflict in Ameera's heart between her love and respect for her father and her desire for a say in her own future.
Poignant Pakistani folktales about star-crossed lovers enrich the story. A gripping tale. Four stars.
Katharine England, The Advertiser
This is issues-based young adult fiction at its best. Hawke has done her research, in Australia and in Pakistan, and deftly folds a consciousness-raising expose into a gripping and credible story.
Owen Richardson, The Age
Rosanne Hawke's research into Pakistan and Pushtun culture makes this a fascinating study of a seemingly exotic culture…details…captivating…the music, colour and smells of the event are brought to life with intoxicating realism…This fascinating look into a life so unlike our own is a must for high school and public libraries and is sure to captivate an assortment of readers, not only those struggling to blend two cultures in their daily life.
Tina Cavanough, Magpies
[Marrying Ameera] is without doubt the best novel I have read this year, and the best YA novel in a long time. The author has drawn a wide range of believable and very memorable characters, all of them true to their particular culture. I found the conflict experienced by the characters caught between two cultures as portrayed in Ameera, for example, to be both compelling and authentic.
Trevor Hampel, blog
Cultures and religions clash in this fabulous Australian novel. I would highly recommend this – it puts a human face on the practice of forced marriages and highlights what a complex issue it is. It's great read.
Mrs Hart, Winthrop & Somerville Baptist Colleges Library Blog
This book is written with an insightful eye and warm respect for both sides of the cultural line Ameera straddles, but as the race to save her from a forced marriage quickens, the tension is white-knuckled.
Deborah Abela on ABC Canberra
What is so interesting about this excellent novel is that Hawke presents a range of viewpoints so we can feel pity for all involved. This is an exciting and fascinating novel.
Ms Suzanne O'Connor, English Teacher, St Vincent College
Rosanne Hawke handles a complex situation with skill and care. She is at pains to show the beauty and richness of the Pakistani culture – from their fables and folktales to their food and clothing…Hawke's portrayal of the complexity of the Pakistani culture in Australia at the start of the novel underscores the multicultural issues that lie at the heart of the novel. While the last third of the novel is certainly gripping and full of action and suspense, there is also plenty of food for thought.
Desert Island Reading.
Hawke weaves a tense tale as Australian-born Ameera struggles to make sense of an unfamiliar culture in Pakistan and have a say in her own future. Hawke avoids clichés and villains, choosing instead to sensitively portray the collision of two very different worlds…
Hawke's novel vividly describes the colour, chaos and culture of Pakistan… Marrying Ameera is a moving story of a young woman's determination to choose who she will love.
Michelle Coram, New Times February 2011
This fictional account of a forced marriage sensitively addresses the issues and circumstances associated with this custom. The importance of family honour and obeying one's parents is paramount, while at the same time the importance of pursuing one's dreams and the necessity to be able to choose one's fate in life, including who one marries, is dealt with thoughtfully. This book will appeal to many readers, both in the young adult audience and adult. It is written with feeling and a very good knowledge of the content matter. Highly recommended.
LD, Reading Time