Hi from Isles Bun and Coffee (best scones in Minneapolis). I also had a cinnamon bun, but I ate it before I took this picture.
I was initially skeptical about this book...I don't know anything about celebrity imprints, besides the fact that they likely encourage TV/ movie/ social media fans to read. A Place for Us is the first book released by Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint for Penguin Random House, SJP for Hogarth. Basically, Sarah Jessica Parker "acquires and curates works of fiction that reflect her own taste as a reader," then publishes under this imprint. Seems like a desperate attempt to get TV lovers to buy/read books...but I digress. The Washington Post published a glowing review of Mirza's debut, so I decided to grab it.
Verdict: this book is STUNNING. Mirza was entirely unknown prior to the publication of A Place of Us. She is a 26-year-old graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her debut follows several generations of a Muslim family living in California. This (almost) 400 page novel chronicles childhood, adolescence, marriage, parenting, and death. Mirza welcomes readers into the lives of each person in the household and illuminates every tie binding the family together and, eventually, pushing them apart. By the time I finished the book, I felt like a part of this loving, complicated, and pained family. Highly recommend! I will look closely at what SJP for Hogarth churns out in the future.