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Killing Honour by Bali Rai - Review

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Where did I get it? My BFF bought it for me years ago, but I hadn't ever got round to read it. Then I pulled it out to take to the Lit Fest to get Bali Rai to sign, so I thought I should read it! 

What's it about? Sat is fifteen at the beginning of the book. He's the youngest in a traditional Sikh family. His older brother is married to Mandy and then his sister Jas gets married to Taz Atwal. Jas doesn't seem happy but Sat is too wrapped up in himself to really notice. Then Taz and his brother announce that Jas has run off with her secret lover, who is Muslim.

Sat's family are shocked, and each retreat into themselves. His dad starts drinking a lot; his mum avoids the gurdwara because she feels ashamed. Sat is shown the proof of her affair, but doesn't believe it. He doesn't think Jas would do that kind of thing, so he sets out to try to uncover what happened to her.

There's always other narratives, so we see Taz's inner circle, and some of the abuse that women have suffered.

I really liked this book. It's written in a very simplistic style, but it really works. I felt for Sat, I wanted him to succeed. 

What age range is it for? 14+ 

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? No 

Are any main characters people of colour? Obviously. I'm not sure I've read about many Sikh characters, so I really liked that. 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? No 

Is there any sex stuff? Yes, trigger warning for sexual assault, be careful with yourself. 

Are drugs mentioned or used? Yes there's cocaine use 

Is there any talk of death? Yes, although it isn't very graphic. 

Are there swear words? Yes, judiciously. 

What criticisms do I have? Almost none. I really liked Sat and his family. 

Would I recommend the book? Yes absolutely! 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? Literally because I met Bali and really liked him (he liked my partner's political badges!) and I read (Un)Arranged Marriage about sixteen years ago. 

What other books is it like? It reminded me of Moonrise by Sarah Crossan for the family aspect. 

How many stars? Four out of five. 

Where is the book going now? I have to keep it, it's signed!

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