A House Without Windows

A House Without Windows

A Novel

Book - 2016
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For two decades, Zeba was a loving wife, a patient mother, and a peaceful villager. But her quiet life is shattered when her husband, Kamal, is found brutally murdered with a hatchet in the courtyard of their home. Nearly catatonic with shock, Zeba is unable to account for her whereabouts at the time of his death. Her children swear their mother could not have committed such a heinous act. Kamal’s family is sure she did, and demands justice. Barely escaping a vengeful mob, Zeba is arrested and jailed. As Zeba awaits trial, she meets a group of women whose own misfortunes have also led them to these bleak cells: thirty-year-old Nafisa, imprisoned to protect her from an honor killing; twenty-five-year-old Latifa, who ran away from home with her teenage sister but now stays in the prison because it is safe shelter; and nineteen-year-old Mezhgan, pregnant and unmarried, waiting for her lover’s family to ask for her hand in marriage. Is Zeba a cold-blooded killer, these young women wonder, or has she been imprisoned, as they have been, for breaking some social rule? For these women, the prison is both a haven and a punishment. Removed from the harsh and unforgiving world outside, they form a lively and indelible sisterhood. Into this closed world comes Yusuf, Zeba’s Afghan-born, American-raised lawyer, whose commitment to human rights and desire to help his motherland have brought him back. With the fate of this seemingly ordinary housewife in his hands, Yusuf discovers that, like Afghanistan itself, his client may not be at all what he imagines.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. :, William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, 2016
Description: 414 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9780062449689
Branch Call Number: Hash
Additional Contributors: Hashimi, Nadia. House without windows


From the critics

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Jun 30, 2019

Thought-provoking story taking place in Afghanistan where women had very few rights. This is a society of men decided by men.

Dec 28, 2018

People. It made me realize how fortunate it is to be a woman in Canada. The struggles that these women face are both harrowing and inspiring.

Jul 12, 2018

A expose about how women are victimized by the judicial system in modern day Afghanistan-Zina-crimes about illicit love, sexual activity outside of cultural norms, a women is incarcerated for allegedly killing her husband-the novel examines the law, how loss of honor is the worst thing that can happen to a person or family-a breathtaking novel

Apr 19, 2017

A novel about a subject that can only be identified and realized in a Muslim society. The unspeakable misery and horrors that many Muslim women endure under the paternalistic laws and customs of this religion are almost inconceivable to our non-Muslim world. As still occurs, even in North America, women suffer under the men and families who control their lives - honor killings, FGM, forced marriage. In this story, Zeba will pay the ultimate penalty to protect her children and others. Although a work of fiction, it mirrors life for many thousands of Muslim women.

Mar 14, 2017

very sad story.the protagonist was treated as less then human bean.

Jan 24, 2017

A really good book. Perhaps a little slow in the beginning as all the characters were being developed, but by the middle of the book, I couldn't put it down. A very interesting, and necessary, look at what goes on in Afghanistan.

AnnabelleLee27 Jan 19, 2017

A gripping & moving mystery about a woman in modern day Afghanistan which helps bring to life (and humanize) the situation of women & the justice system there. It has compelling characters and a intriguing plot although the happy ending seems a bit too simplistic and thus does not quite ring true.
On a side note, I chose this novel after reading In The Land of the Blue Burquas by Kate McCord hoping to balance out that author's depiction of Afghanistan, with her evangelical Christian agenda, with something more imaginative coming from Afghani woman's perspective and it was successful in that regard.

Jan 16, 2017

Powerful story but a tedious read for me...too long.

LoganLib_Phoebe Dec 28, 2016

A legal drama with a difference - set in Afghanistan, where the legal system is, like the country itself, torn between tradition and modernity. If you like Jodi Picoult's moral dilemmas and twists you will find this one a gripping read.

Dec 10, 2016

A House Without Windows is set in Afghanistan but can occur anywhere in the world. It is well worth reading although intense and speaks to how important gal pals are in our lives, how prevalent harassment is and should not be endured, how mothers will do anything for their children and how male dominated legal systems sometimes get it right.

Hang in there if you are on the waitlist and take all threats of assault seriously. I read this while a dead Dr in Toronto found in a suitcase allegedly murdered by her neurosurgeon husband !


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