"Katherine Russell has done a very fine job with her novel. The characters are plausible and the events as well as the themes the novel touches upon will provide many interesting discussion points among readers."
"She [Russell] brings up pertinent issues of culture and language and how Colonialism affected people’s lives on these different levels. Moreover, she begs the question as to whether foreign education in developing countries actually works for the people or against them. I particularly enjoyed the intellectual debates between characters in the novel. One of the main characters Sajib, for instance puts forth the question as to whether English really is the language of progression and whether American education in East Pakistan was valuable or if it served to further strip the people from their culture...The political angle of the book did not overshadow the narrative and because it was so naturally written as part of the main story, it was not boring at all, instead it proved to be insightful."
-Muslim Women Exposed
"This book feels like it is set out for greatness. The book is written in a beautiful, almost poetic style, with a complexity of themes that I can imagine perfectly fitting in to a heated literary discussion as a high school or even a university setwork."
-The Jozi WAHM Guide to Everything
"Sariyah...starts working as a maid at Martin House, an American compound that brings American volunteers to teach the village people about agriculture, home economics, history, English and hygiene. There, she meets Rodney, a clueless, entitled, privileged (my opinion) teacher, who goes to teach in an attempt to avoid being drafted into the army...He thinks that things need to change in Eastern Pakistan and he thinks he knows how change should occur. He wants to bring “development” about...I saw the story as that of clashing patriarchies....white Western privilege is well and alive and that the rest of us continue to be subjects of “discovery,” “development” and of “saving.”"
-A good analysis of Rodney's role in the book, by Eren of Muslimah Media Watch