Rafina by Shandana Minhas (Book Review)

Rafina: A Novella Hardcover by Shandana Minhas

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  • Genre: Contemporary Fiction
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan India
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Pages: 280
  • Publication Date: 23 May 2018
  • Source: Review Copy
  • My Rating: 2 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Rafina looks at the glamorous girl on the billboard outside her window in Karachi and thinks, It won’t be long before I’m up there. Too poor for college and dismissive of marriage, the clear-eyed young woman cajoles her mother’s friend and Radiance beauty parlour masseuse, Rosie Khala, into taking her on as an apprentice. Thus begin her brave misadventures – from clumsy parlour assistant, to mostly dependable tea girl, till in a stroke of serendipity, she is ‘discovered’. Poised to have everything she thought she wanted, the only thing standing between Rafina and that billboard are the people who think she should still be using the service entrance.

My Thoughts

Reading the blurb of this book makes one expect a unique and refreshing story. Perhaps the journey and struggles of a strong woman. It was a huge disappointment when I discovered that this book is nothing like that.

I liked the author’s writing style. She had a good way of providing vivid descriptions. The problem is that I didn’t like the things she was describing and they went on and on.

The story follows Rafina as she starts working at a salon and eventually gets “discovered”. It shows the shady ways of the modeling business. Most of the characters were unlikeable and that made it hard to read about them. Rafina had it in her mind that she was destined for great and better things. I like characters who are confident and ambitious but I kept wondering while reading if she has any talents that will take her to stardom. I found her delusional and her character didn’t improve at all throughout the book.

I can’t say this book was enjoyable for me. The ending was abrupt and I wish it was better. It is possible that the main point of the story was Rafina’s hardships but it was delivered in such a way that I couldn’t appreciate the story at all.


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0 thoughts on “Rafina by Shandana Minhas (Book Review)”

  1. The disappointment in the ending reminds me of Behold the Dreamers. Where it just ends in a way that you were not expecting given the title and synopsis. Bummer it disappointed you in that way.

  2. Great honest review I am really sorry this book really didn’t work out for you I hope your next read is a much better one. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.

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