In the company of strangers

Mona has almost everything: money, friends, social status… everything except for freedom.
Languishing in her golden cage, she craves a sense of belonging…
Desperate for emotional release, she turns to a friend who introduces her to a world of glitter,
glamour, covert affairs and drugs. There she meets Ali, a physically and emotionally wounded man,
years younger than her.
Heady with love, she begins a delicate game of deceit that spirals out of control and threatens to
shatter the deceptive facade of conservatism erected by Lahori society, and potentially destroy
everything that Mona has ever held dear.

Review In the company of strangers by Fany Van Hemelen:
A stunning and thought provoking love story set in Lahore in Pakistan

I loved this intelligent and beautifully written novel. The author starts with an exploding beginning that brought me immediately into the terror and sad reality of terrorism. After the horrible chapter one I got involved in the life of the Lahore society where I meet Mona and Bilal. Most time through the eyes of Mona I see how the rich people spoil money and how important status is this world. On the contrary it is clear this middle aged woman is not happy with her protected life because she has everything but actually has nothing. Possessions are not love and between money and being loved is a significant difference. When she is invited at the event of Meera, her friend from the past, this is the katalysator of a refreshing new step in the glamorous side of Lahore.
Ali, a model and a young guy from the poor side, with his own problems will be the change of everything.

I can’t say more about the story, but I can tell you Awais Khan has captured me with this glimpse of the glitter and horror of Lahore. This love story is not the usual stuff, but is an introduction to the Pakistani life and the atmosphere of Lahore. The characters are amazingly human, not perfect at all and in this narration the author combines important themes like terrorism, mental and sexual abuse, women rights and politics. Interesting was I got to see the reality through different point of views and I could feel the emotions of everyone.
I was sometimes chocked by the actions of the key players, then touched and at the end I even didn’t want to read further on, but I had to know what happened.

In the company of strangers shows the difficult path between being a good one or crossing the line. In fact this story is all about love and hate for a soulmate, family or your own country. If you adore a story with depth and troubled personalities in a divided city then I have to advise you to discover this one and you won’t regret it.

In this tale the author had the gift to make me understand the motives and dreams of the people with a good heart . On the other side and that’s a great compliment, even the actions of the bad guys are insane, I got it why they did such inhuman actions.

The start was impressive, the end extremely emotional, but in the middle the book flaws a bit and I would found it even more compelling when it had stayed on top of the big issues but that’s just a detail and personal opinion.

In the company of strangers is a book about love, trust and key players who are trapped in a world full of war and differences and it is the question if there is a way out of terror.

Awais Khan

Awais Khan is a graduate of Western University and Durham University. Having been an
avid reader and writer all his life, he decided to take the plunge and study Novel Writing and Editing
at Faber Academy in London. His work has appeared in the Missing Slate Magazine, Daily Times and
MODE, and he has been interviewed by leading television channels like PTV, Voice of America,
Samaa TV and City 42, to name a few. He is also the Founder of The Writing Institute, one of the
largest institutions for Creative Writing in Pakistan. He lives in Lahore and frequently visits London
for business.

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Titel: In the company of strangers | Auteur: Awais Khan | Uitgeverij: Book Guild Publishing Ltd | Categorie: | Uitvoering: | 200 pagina’s | ISBN13: 9781912881482 | Verkrijgbaar sinds: juli 2019 | Recensent: Fany van Hemelen | Datum recensie: 29-07-2019 | Prijs: €11,99 | Bestellen