Lahore, Pakistan. Then.
Misbah is a dreamer and storyteller, newly married to Toufiq in an arranged match. After their young life is shaken by tragedy, they come to the United States and open the Cloud’s Rest Inn Motel, hoping for a new start.
Juniper, California. Now.
Salahudin and Noor are more than best friends; they are family. Growing up as outcasts in the small desert town of Juniper, California, they understand each other the way no one else does. Until The Fight, which destroys their bond with the swift fury of a star exploding.
Now, Sal scrambles to run the family motel as his mother Misbah’s health fails and his grieving father loses himself to alcoholism. Noor, meanwhile, walks a harrowing tightrope: working at her wrathful uncle’s liquor store while hiding the fact that she’s applying to college so she can escape him—and Juniper—forever.
When Sal’s attempts to save the motel spiral out of control, he and Noor must ask themselves what friendship is worth—and what it takes to defeat the monsters in their pasts and the ones in their midst.
From one of today’s most cherished and bestselling young adult authors comes a breathtaking novel of young love, old regrets, and forgiveness—one that’s both tragic and poignant in its tender ferocity.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sabaa Tahir comes a brilliant, unforgettable, and heart-wrenching contemporary YA novel about family and forgiveness, love and loss, in a sweeping story that crosses generations and continents.
I don’t know what genre to sort that book under. Drama? Contemporary fiction? YA?
I just know that at one point I wanted to stop reading because it was so heavy and I was not in the mood for heavy.
But I am glad I persevered because I got to read a harsh yet beautiful story.
In All my Rage we follow three characters.
Misbah, Salahudin’s mom, managing an inn as it had been her life’s dream.
Salahudin or Sal, her son, nearly 18, the writer who doesn’t like to be touched.
Noor, soon to be 18 too, living at her uncle Chachu’s house and hoping to become a doctor one day.
What these characters have in common is that they all knew or know pain.
Misbah left her natal Pakistan to follow Tufiq, Sal’s Abu or dad to the USA.
She didn’t get to choose her husband but prayed for a gentle one. As she will discover with life, she should have wished for an unbroken one.
Misbah has always loved stories. And her dream was to open a hotel to collect people’s stories. When she follows Tufiq to the US, she will open the Cloud’s Rest Inn Hotel.
Misbah was kind and welcoming.
Especially to Noor.
Noor whose all family except her uncle died in an eartquake when she was six. Her uncle Chachu dig her from under her house’s rumbles and took her to the US, stopping his studies to raise her.
And since that moment, he’s been oppressing Noor.
We feel early on that Noor fears her uncle but it’s unclear why. We just know that he hates Pakistan and everything muslim. Noor has to go to the mosque in secret. It’s auntie Misbah who taught her Pakistani recipes.
Noor is a straight A student, a hard worker and a quiet girl. She hopes to escape Junniper one day and go study medicine. But her uncle can never know. He wouldn’t allow her to live his dream.
Sal is Noor’s childhood friend. They had a Fight and didn’t speak for months.
But when Sal’s mom’s health takes a turn for the worse, they will have to decide what’s best to do.
Sal is a good kid. We feel early on that there must be a reason why he does not want to be touched but we don’t know why.
He has the weight of the world on his shoulder, being a parent to his dad, juggling hospital bills…
I really hurt for all these characters who had been dealt bad hand in life.
It was so sad seeing their struggle, the racisme they were victim of, how life can crush you when you are not white and rich.
That read was a heavy one, I won’t lie. A depressing one more than once but also an eye opening one, once more. It also had some life lessons or God’s wisdom, the most important being “If we are lost, God is like water, finding the unknowable path when we cannot.”
Thanks for reading.