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Beyond the Fields

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4.54  ·  Rating details ·  24 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Born to a poor, landless farmer in the month of the monsoon rains, twins Zara and Tara grow up amongst the fields of wheat and cotton in a remote village in Pakistan. During an afternoon spree of games, Tara is kidnapped from the fields and raped. All seems to be resolved after her parents accept an unexpected marriage proposal for their “dishonoured” daughter. But the nig ...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published October 7th 2019 by Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Pte Ltd
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Average rating 4.54  · 
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Huma IZ
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Found it a good read into simple life in rural Pakistan which is made complicated by society, political situation and laws.
Mangrove Toucan
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A loved this book. Beautifully written, the author transports you to conservative rural Pakistan and through wonderful story telling addresses difficult topics of women’s rights, social expectations and family ties. Although the characters go through great hardship at the end of the day I feel it is an optimistic book, encouraging girls to dream big.

Reminds me of Khaled Husseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns and the Kite Runner.
LitPick Book Reviews
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Taking the reader into Pakistan of the 1980s, Beyond the Fields by Aysha Baqir is a transforming and eye-opening read. The novel is told through Zara, a fifteen or sixteen-year-old girl growing up in a poor village steeped in family, religious, and governmental traditions she doesn't understand and refuses to believe. Zara wishes to be more than the life her mother has planned for her: a dutiful wife to a rich man. She is attempting to escape this through her secret studies with her older brothe ...more
Nuria Rafique
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Aysha's book highlights the taboo issues of rape and more importantly sexual abuse of children and how the suppression of these issues being spoken about actually leads to far worse consequences. The book is set in an era some years ago in Pakistan, but the issues it touches are very relevant today. Choosing a twin relationship was a very intelligent way of allowing the reader to see the variety of woman who exist in society, those who don't have the ability to speak out, and then those wonderfu ...more
Zarreen Baqir
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A powerful and moving story that highlights the misogynistic culture and traditions that rural women in Pakistan face, yet leaves the reader feeling hopeful and cheering for protagonist, whose courage and resilience is admirable despite being faced with gut-wrenching circumstances. The writing is lyrical and engaging, and half way in the book becomes a real page turner, the pace and suspense gripping you through till the end.
Maliha
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read! Really gripping. This book does a brilliant job of bringing cultural challenges to life and how women from the remotest parts of Pakistan face them with unexpected resilience! The characters are full of life and remind of certain personalities I have come across myself!
Mehreen
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Behind the Fields is a ‘real’ novel. Not only is it a powerful literary text whose characters leap out of the pages and accompany you long after you have finished reading, it is also a glimpse into a world with which most of us are unfamiliar. This is not a romanticised picture of rural or semi-rural Pakistan; instead, it is evident that the author has spent many hours with those she writes of, who have now been elegantly immortalised in ink. Beyond the Fields stands as a mirror through which we ...more
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Aysha grew up in Pakistan. Graduating as valedictorian of her class, she won a scholarship to Mount Holyoke College, where she studied International Relations. Her time in college sparked a passion for economic development, and upon her return to Pakistan, she saw that the poor needed access to economic resources and networks before they could voice their demands for social justice.

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