Bookworm is studying India in his Eastern Hemisphere BookShark Level now, and it’s been an education for me as well as him. This is embarrassing to admit, but I really knew nothing about India’s history.
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That all changed when we read aloud together A Moment Comes by Jennifer Bradbury.
From the moment we started reading, we both really enjoyed this book. The narrator is a shifting one. Sometimes it’s Tariq, a young Muslim man. Sometimes it’s Anupreet, a young Sikh girl. Sometimes it’s Margaret, a 16 year old from England whose father is tasked with creating the dividing line between the soon to be formed Pakistan and India. He’s on a very tight deadline, and his job consumes much of his time.
Tariq and Anupreet both get jobs working for Margaret’s father. Tariq runs errands for him, and Anupreet helps Margaret and her mother. Margaret and her mother are quite oblivious to any of the tension and strife that Tariq and Anupreet are facing, as would be expected since they see them simply as servants.
Throughout the book, there is much tension between the Muslims and the Sikhs. Yet, because the reader gets to see both Tariq and Anupreet’s point of view, we understand how challenging and terrifying this time in history was for members of both groups in India. There was hatred and violence on both sides.
In the middle is Margaret, a bored teenager who isn’t allowed to venture far from the compound where her family is staying. She develops a small crush on Tariq, and Tariq considers using her and her affection to help him get to Oxford, where he’s always wanted to go to college, thanks to encouragement from his now deceased grandfather. Complicating his plan is Tariq’s affection for Anupreet, even though other servants in the house (also Sikh) do everything they can to keep Tariq from Anupreet.
The story, while good throughout, really builds suspense in the last third of the book. We’ve read about half of the books in BookShark’s Level 5, Eastern Hemisphere, and this is my favorite one so far.
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.