JaNiece's Reviews > Ask Me No Questions

Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos
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really liked it

The book begins with Nadira and her family fleeing America, traveling to Canada because they are illegal immigrants. It is shortly after 9/11 and the government had instituted strict laws (i.e. the Patriot Act, registration of all people from certain Middle Eastern countries). Nadira and her family are from Bangladesh. They came to America on a tourist visa that has expired. They are going to Canada to apply for asylum (a form of protection granted to individuals who have been persecuted or fear they will be persecuted on account of their race, religion, nationality). They are denied entry into Canada and while trying to re-enter the United States - Nadira's father is detained due to the expired visa.
Nadira and her older sister Aisha go back to Queens while their mother stays at a shelter near the border waiting to see what will happen to their father.
Aisha is the sister that always has it all together. But, under the pressure she starts to lose control and it is up to Nadira to bring the family back together.
I really got hooked into the family's struggle and it was very interesting to read from the perspective of the illegal immigrant.
It also provided knowledge on the process of applying for U.S. citizenship.
I was horrified to know that the registration act was something that really happened to people in this country - whether they were U.S. citizens or not. It reminded me of the way America treated Japanese Americans during WWII.
Marina Budhos wonderfully crafted the 2 main characters, Aisha and Nadira. I really felt for Aisha as she slowly lost control and became someone I didn't even recognize by the end of the book. The contrast between the two sisters was exceptionally written.
Overall, I liked the book. It was an easy read and an interesting story.

I understand why this book has many starred reviews and honors. The writing is outstanding as Marina Budhos pulls the reader into this family's story. The reader feels the heartbreak as the family is separated, feels the prejudice, and the fear. The literary element of characterization is particularly strong in this book which appears to be a strong criteria for many book awards.

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Reading Progress

January 21, 2009 – Shelved
Started Reading
January 25, 2009 – Finished Reading

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