Wednesday, 10 December 2014


Today the eye of the world is in Oslo, where the 17 year old teenager Malala Yousafzai, is collecting her award for winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

She is a Pakistani school girl who was shot in the head for wanting an education for girls. Now she is at school and resident in Birmingham. Malala was fighting for the rights of girls in education in Pakistan since she was twelve. But this phenomenon is not new.

My novel The Last Year of Childhood, is complete and deals with exactly this same problem, although in a different way, set at a different time, and in a different country.

Latchmin is 11, bright and ambitious, and wants to become a teacher. Her best friend Sumati is 14, beautiful and passionate, and has fallen in love with a local boy. 

But both their parents have arranged marriages for them to complete strangers. One is a much older man with two children. The other, has a reputation for being violent.

In their struggle to get out of these arranged marriages, things go very wrong, and they suffer consequences involving rape, violence and suicide. Their struggles are continuous as they try to help each other till the very end.

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