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The Lost Pearl

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  78 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Everything changes for nine-year-old Sana Shah as she witnesses the horror of her father's assassination. she suffers through the pain of losing him, and realizing the worth of lessons learnt from him as Pearls of Wisdom. The tragedy forces Sana to leave her home in Pakistan, and traverse the globe to California. As time passes, she remains tormented by her memories as she ...more
Paperback, 178 pages
Published July 29th 2012 by Lara Zuberi
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Misha Husnain Ali
Mar 23, 2014 Misha Husnain Ali rated it did not like it
So far, the prose is aggressively bland. It's as if someone went through the whole thing and stripped it bare of any accidentally interesting images or similes.

The characters are one-note. Ask me in two hours to describe anything about the family introduced to us and I wouldn't be able to do better than male, female, child one, child two.

When reading books written by bilingual authors, I have often remarked upon how much more interesting it is when the smattering of local phrases is explained. T
Javeria Rashid
Apr 03, 2017 Javeria Rashid rated it it was amazing
It's an interesting novel with perfect use of words.
Mar 12, 2014 Xainab rated it it was ok
The Lost Pearl is narrated in first person by Sana - the protagonist who witnesses her father's murder as a young child. The story charts her progression from childhood to adulthood, and climaxes in a meeting with her father's killer.


DESCRIPTIVE: Karachi is a city which holds many fond memories for me, and I was excited to re-visit this familiar locale by losing myself in The Lost Pearl. Sana (the protagonist) enjoys a privileged, sheltered background as a child, so her descriptions of Kar
Jun 20, 2013 Sana rated it it was amazing
For far too many times the chemists tried to turn different elements into gold but never did it happen.
Give this task to a writer and the writer will turn the words into gold...

Sometimes a reader is so lost in thoughts,thoughts not of the reader but of the writer that soon these thoughts become reader's own. Unfolding history, solving a mystery and providing a story of silvery Lara Zuberi writes with finesse. Her words were like an Ocean; they were flowing in a melody, touched like a whole new w
Dec 20, 2013 ChaiTime rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful story about a young Pakistani girl, Sana, whose happy childhood is abruptly brought to an end by a horrible tragedy. The story follows her as she grows into a young woman. She and her family are forever changed by the event, and the author does a wonderful job of showing how Sana struggles to deal her anger and grief, and eventually finds happiness again.

The descriptions of Sana's childhood, and her experiences in Pakistan and in the U.S. are beautifully written, from the foo
Ayesha Usman
Jan 11, 2014 Ayesha Usman rated it it was amazing
My my.. I don't even have words to express how much i loved every page every single word of the book. Lara, to compare you with anyone would not do justice but i can safely say that you are without a shadow of doubt amongst the likes of Paulo Cohelo and Khalid Hosseini ,(two of my favourite authors from modern times). You have stolen my heart and have done justice to
every word and every emotion and many thoughts that were welling up inside me since my own father's assassination, they now have t
Shahida Bashir
Jan 22, 2013 Shahida Bashir rated it it was amazing
The Lost Pearl is such a gripping read; I could just not put the book down, and finished it within a few hours. The story spans across the continents, and amazingly captures the indigenous flavors of both settings (US and Pakistan). The geopolitical, social and cultural backdrop transposes one into the novel. What I enjoyed the most was the lyrical prose, the smattering of authentic poetic references, (esp, to the famous South Asian poet Faiz), within the narrative, which make it a true literary ...more
Shaheen Ashraf-Ahmed
Feb 17, 2013 Shaheen Ashraf-Ahmed rated it really liked it
The Lost Pearl was an engaging read and an excellent debut novel. A story about anger, revenge and forgiveness moves between Pakistan and America and is a story told by Sana, the narrator, who has witnessed her father's murder and forgets his last piece of advice, which is to always uncover the truth, an oversight that causes a lot of suffering to herself and the other characters of The Lost Pearl. It was interesting that Zuberi featured the terrorism of 9/11 in the backdrop to widen the theme o ...more
Christoph Fischer
Mar 29, 2013 Christoph Fischer rated it it was amazing
"The Lost Pearl" by Lara Zuberi was a precious find for me, a rare 'pearl' if you forgive the pun.
The book tells about a girl's love for her father, his assassination in their native Pakistan not long after its independence and the consequences of this tragedy for her life. The mother re-marries and the girl, Sana, moves to California to her aunt in protest of the marriage.
Told in beautiful prose and with melancholic sadness we live through Sana's experience as an immigrant, student and a young
Apr 13, 2013 Maira rated it really liked it
it was a very well written book with an amazing theme. i loved the fact that the writer tried to add the historical touch to the actual theme of the book. honestly the blend was rather interesting and refreshing to read.

the characters were realistic and it suited well with the familiar pakistani was a heart warming book and i really enjoyed reading it.
Sahrish Iftikhar
Jul 07, 2016 Sahrish Iftikhar rated it really liked it
This was one hard book to read since this was the first book I read after my father passed away and the main character Sana too lost her father. The entire book was about her struggles, how she suppressed her anger, pain, and tears. It was all so relate-able. But this book somehow helped me learn a few things. All in all it was a good read.
Connie Harkness
Aug 22, 2012 Connie Harkness rated it it was amazing
A beautiful story, nicely written. Thanks for letting me now about it, Lara.
Working on the next one?
Naeema Haider
Apr 29, 2013 Naeema Haider rated it it was amazing
Could not put the book down because how easy it flowed from one situation to the next. Being a Pakistani, I could relate to so many situations as well as emotions of that culture.
Kathleen Schmitt
Mar 19, 2013 Kathleen Schmitt rated it really liked it

Like most serious novels The Last Pearl deals with issues of justice, in this case when nine-year-old Sana sees the face of the man who kills her father. From that point she embarks on an an intense interior journey to find a reality that makes some sense to her. While she seeks healing, happiness, and perhaps even peace, her anger drives her to find truth and justice about what was done to her father and her family. This kind of search can become complicated in a country like Pakistan where cor
Sep 20, 2012 Brittany rated it it was amazing
They lost Pearl takes one on journey through times not too long ago in one girls transition to womanhood with a secret, an emotional childhood, and a fear that has followed her through adulthood.

Zuberi, brings such a wonderful masterpiece in the sense of words that tell a very captivating story. I have never read anything fiction/novel regarding Pakistan and the struggle of that country. It was quite an eye-opening experience with a great story-line.

The author has a very good choice of words d
Stephanie Wolf
Sep 10, 2012 Stephanie Wolf rated it it was amazing
Who could ever imagine that one event could have such an impact on so many things during the course of your life?

Nine year old Sana lived with her family in Pakistan. They were a happy family living the perfect life. One night, before Sana’s eyes, someone killed her father. Her father, a loving man who would always pass along “pearls of wisdom,” was loved by everyone.

Within one year, Sana’s mother remarried to a man Sana could not accept as her father. Sana, even though still a child, moved to C
Elizabeth (Stuffed Shelves)
Sep 20, 2012 Elizabeth (Stuffed Shelves) rated it it was amazing
Sana Shah is only nine-years-old when she is a bystander to her father's horrible assassination. This tragedy forces Sana to escape Pakistan and her mother's new husband and move to California with her Aunt and Uncle. Even though she has changed her scenery and lives with family who treats her as her own, she is still haunted from her memories as she struggles to deal with losing her father, and rediscover herself in a new country.

Lara Zuberi goes into great detail about Sana's physical and men
Aug 13, 2015 Shafak rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful story about a young Pakistani girl, Sana, whose happy childhood is abruptly brought to an end by a horrible tragedy. The story follows her as she grows into a young woman. She and her family are forever changed by the event, and the author does a wonderful job of showing how Sana struggles to deal her anger and grief, and eventually finds happiness again.

The descriptions of Sana's childhood, and her experiences in Pakistan and in the U.S. are beautifully written, from the foo
Xunaira J.
Sep 25, 2013 Xunaira J. rated it it was amazing
We all understand what emotions, feelings and tragedies could do to us but little do we understand until we are subjected to them. Others can feel your pain only when they have gone through it themselves and therein, lays the experience. In this tale of tragedy, trauma and politically changing world, Lara Zuberi has beautifully created a tale of a young girl Sana who fights the world alone for the love of her assassinated father. Looking closely at Sana’s character, it made me feel like I was lo ...more
Oct 14, 2013 fatima rated it it was amazing
This is perhaps one of the most heartfelt books I have ever read.It had me near tears most of the time.Sana was nine year old when she witnessed the murder of her father.Such an event is enough to traumatize even an adult .She was a great character and instead of just giving up,she sought to find peace and justice for what happened to her father. I can't even begin to imagine what I would have done in her place.A thing that I really liked about this book was the very good description of Pakistan ...more
May 13, 2013 Sohaib rated it liked it
When this book was suggested to me, I was extremely hesitant to start it. My experience with Pakistani writers was not good and I blame the lack of reading habit in Pakistan for it; low reading habit less mature writers... I dragged on with this for months and one day I decided that it's time now... On completion of first four chapters, I was sorry that I dragged this book... The writer has sketched such an impressive scenario and details are so vivid that empathy develops unintentionally... Cha ...more
Jean Moore
Mar 18, 2013 Jean Moore rated it liked it
The Lost Pearl is a story about how our faith sustains us and our choices simultaneously shape into who we are and haunt us with doubts about ‘the road not taken.’

Lara Zuberi, through the use of the first person descriptive narrative, introduces us to Sana, a young girl who, at the age of nine, experiences the most disturbing and also the most defining event of her life.

Singularly determined to remember her father as her immediate family needs to forget, she leaves her home in Karachi Pakistan a
Nida Siddiqui
Mar 05, 2013 Nida Siddiqui rated it it was amazing
The book is so poignant and as a Pakistani, I can certainly relate to the various political/economic struggles that make the backdrop of this book. The character develops into a strong young, educated woman who finds love in an unlikely place. The way the beautiful relationship between the main character and her love interest is described makes you root for them to finally figure it all out in the end. The twists in the tale make this a page turner. Its a great read for anyone, but especially re ...more
Apr 10, 2013 Owaiz rated it it was amazing
This being a début novel, I kept my expectations low.
However, once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. The plot is fast-paced and interesting. We get a good sense of time as Lara's wonderfully merged her story with real-life events, making it seem all the more real. We see how the character develops, events that affect and form her and why she acts and thinks the way she does. The writing is strong and flawless; doesn't bore us with trivial details/stuff.

The novel also accurately and be
Faiza Saadaat
Apr 26, 2013 Faiza Saadaat rated it it was amazing
As a Pakistani, needless to say it was easy to relate to the back drop of the novel, however what particularly captured my heart and mind were the emotional bonds, morals and values which I found to be the essence of the entire story. The love and respect that Sana's character highlights for every relationship despite every situation she faces and above all the principles and values which are depicted are priceless especially in the current times! The style of writing is very captivating and yet ...more
 Candice =^,,^=
Oct 11, 2012 Candice =^,,^= rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads, reviewed
I won this book through Goodreads. The Lost Pearl is a truly engaging story that tells how a nine year girls life in Afghanistan dramatically changes with the murder of her father and how at the end all the pieces of her life come together in a unexpected way. It was a pleasure to read and I am glad I had the opportunity through Goodreads and the author.
Oct 16, 2012 Lysa rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won it through the Goodreads giveaway. I enjoy reading about women in other cultures than my own and seeing what their lives are like, especially if they are coming of age stories. This is one with a tragic past, culture shock, family, love, and politics - a little bit of everything can't be bad.
3.5 stars. I enjoyed the first half, but once Sana was in college and had met Ahmer, the book just became awkward. In particular, the dialogue didn't read naturally. There were also a few too many coincidences in the story.
That said, the story was often beautiful, particularly when the author disposed of dialogue and let Sana's voice and emotions come through.
Muzna Shamsi
Jul 03, 2013 Muzna Shamsi rated it it was amazing
This novel is a must read. The story is very gripping and words flow like a stream. Amazing !! I had a hard time to put in down .. finished it in a day !! The author really did an awesome job here !! Highly recommended!!
Eyal Eyal
Jun 19, 2016 Eyal Eyal rated it did not like it
Boring as hell. Bland and predictable.
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Making Connections: 929. - THE LOST PEARL by Lara Zuberi 23 168 Jan 01, 2017 08:22PM  
Pakistani Readers: The lost pearl 102 103 Apr 22, 2014 12:33PM  
Pakistani Readers: The Lost Pearl 13 30 Jul 28, 2013 05:56PM  
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Lara Zuberi is of Pakistani origin. She writes literary fiction which has a multicultural flavor. She is an oncologist by profession, and donates proceeds from her debut novel, The Lost Pearl, to underprivileged cancer patients. She is in the process of completing her second novel, Torn Pages.
More about Lara Zuberi...

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