Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin

I was kindly gifted a copy of this book by Readers First to review ahead of its release date on the 3rd June.

Hana Khan is a Canadian Muslim who’s parents emigrated to Canada before having a family. Hana identifies herself as a ‘Brown Girl’ and acknowledges that this makes her a minority in Canada but has not really experienced any prejudice because for that. She has her own anonymous podcast where she can talk confidentially about issues she is facing whilst also working in an internship at the local Toronto radio station. On top of that she also helps out in her family’s restaurant.

Her happy routine is tipped on it’s side when a new restaurant is announced to be opening in her small knit community and Hana starts to worry about the impact it will have on her family’s business. With the new restaurant comes its owner Aydin too who Hana just cannot read.

On top of her close family, she is also visit by her cousin Rashid an an aunty who arrives unexpectantly. Together they help expose Hana to parts of the world, her society, heritage and self she was previously ignorant to.

I was really glad to have the opportunity to continue to diversify my reading with this story. Aspects of it reminded me of The Hate U Give in regards to the racism displayed towards Hana and her family/community. I really liked that we were able to be shocked alongside Hana following the racist attack she experienced rather than it just being something to sweep under the carpet.

I did find that it almost felt like two separate stories, the story of Hana, her family, community and restaurant, then Hana and her career in radio. Obviously, the two fit together, but I felt like we could’ve had more focus on one issue or the other. It was almost like there were a few chapters about the radio station then we forgot about it until a while later then she’d go back.

Overall, it was a good read but I wouldn’t rush out to buy it for family or friends. I do have Jalaluddin’s other novel Ayesha at Last to read at some point though so I’ll see what I think of that one. In the meantime, Hana Khan Carries On is released on the 3rd of June. Let me know what you think of it!

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