"Written by an author who cares about the conditions of these women, offering a genuine picture free of prejudice and pre-conceived ideas and filled with love, caring and humanity. The stories and lives of the women portrayed in this book are beautiful as they are tragic, providing a megaphone to voices that all to often remain silent. Yet what they have to say is a testament to their strength, beauty and courage"
"Good God!- Please read this incredibly powerful and important piece"
"This is just so heartbreaking"
"Didnt know what to expect when I bought this but I loved it. Had me laughing in parts and crying in others. Can't believe that these women live here in the UK and have these kind of lives, it's shameful. Love love loved this book, it's a hard read but definitely worth it."
"A thoroughly engaging book that made me want to keep reading as soon as I began. Aisha finds a subtle balance of poignancy, humour and, at times, tragedy as she explores the complex and difficult lives of women of South Asian heritage living in a Western world but bound by culture and tradition"
"I cried at the start of Nafisa's story, then became angry at the end, laughed at Amina and Salma's story, became angry at Parveens story (and cried again), could not believe Shabeena's story although I think it raised the prejudices' I hold, cried and cried for Saira, anger and sadness again at Farzanas story but i found myself crying with joy at the end and the last one- letter to my sister- what can I say? utterly heartbreaking. Just so sad. There must be SOMETHING we can do!!"
Aisha Elahi's novel Shackled Sisters is now on sale with all major book outlets. You can buy it here
Shackled Sisters is no easy read. There have already been complaints from some individuals from Pakistani and Indian communities. Some of these people are saying the book is 'garbage' and another way of making 'white people feel their culture is superior'. There are others who feel Shackled Sisters is a slander on Asian communtities and that I ought to be ashamed of myself.
Some have said that the womens who's stories are contained in Shackled Sisters will burn in hell for the lives they led. This book is NOT an attack on the diverse and beautiful cultures we have here in the UK. It is about some of the women, living right here in the UK today, bound to an existence, a life which they are too scared to break away from.
It is about their stories, how they have lived, how they see their own culture and how they exist. These are brave women who are bound by some customs, some traditions, religion, love, fear and honour.
Shackled Sisters gives you an insight into a secretive world, it gives you this insight from the very women who live within this existence. I want to highlight their plight, their troubles and do their stories justice. I want other women to know that they are not alone. If they have been forced into a marriage then they are not alone. If they have loved and lost then they are not alone. If they have chosen their parents over a life with someone they loved then they are not alone. If they have been sexually abused then they are not alone. If they have pretended to be a virgin on their wedding night they are not alone.
If what you have already read offends you then don't buy this book and send me negative comments- I don't collect those, I only collect positivity. I will continue to write about these issues. I will continue to write about these women and give them a voice. This is a fight that I will keep on with. This is a fight we must keep on with.