Today it’s my turn and also the end of the fantastic BlogTour The Family Tree by Sairish Hussain.
About the Author
Sairish Hussain was born and brought up in Bradford, West Yorkshire. She studied English Language and Literature at the University of Huddersfield and progressed onto an MA in Creative Writing. Sairish completed her PhD in 2019 after being awarded the university’s Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship. The Family Tree is her debut novel and she is now writing her second book.
About the book
Amjad never imagined he’d be a single father. But, when tragedy strikes, he must step up for his two children – while his world falls apart.
Saahil dreams of providing for his dad and little sister. But his life is about to take an unexpected turn.
The baby of the family, Zahra, is shielded from the worst the world has to offer. But, as she grows up, she wonders if she can rely on anyone but herself.
There’s no such thing as an easy journey. But when life sends the family in different directions, will they take their own paths – or find their way back to each other?
Emotional and real, The Family Tree is the story of one ordinary family – and how it’s the extraordinary moments that define us all.
This story moves through the decades as Amjad and his two young children come to terms with the death of his wife, their mother. As Saahil’s life is destroyed by another tragedy and then as Zahra faces her own difficulties as a young woman.
At the very core this is a story about family. About their love for each other and how their culture defines, cultivates and both strengthens or weakens it. How family relationships change when they are put under immense pressure or go through a traumatic experience.
Hussain doesn’t stop there though – she uses this story of family to broach topics that are at the very heart of societies that struggle with multicultural identities.
Privilege, specifically white privilege, can’t be changed if those with privilege are unable to comprehend what their privilege entails or what it means in the grand scheme of life. I often see comments saying that it isn’t the job of minorities or non-whites to teach white people what privilege means. My answer to that is – you can’t expect them to acknowledge something they aren’t even aware of, because they don’t have to deal with oppression, racism or discrimination on a daily basis.
They have no clue what it’s like to not even make the shortlisting pile because the colour of their skin is too dark, their name sounds too foreign, their religion or race conjures up stereotypical tropes. To be the token person that a company needs to have to show they are diverse.
The author blends these issues that define the professional lives of both Zahra and Saahil into the story, as they also struggle to survive the anger and misconceptions of the trauma that keeps them apart.
It hit the right emotional tone for me. It has the frank and honest feel of a family in the midst of a struggle. It hurts at times, it brings tears to the eyes and it also makes you smile. It’s a contemporary cultural read about family.