It's an important book, one that places a vital issue squarely on the table, makes it understandable and sympathetic, more than a sad fact of life in a far-away country. It's also a gripping read, hard to turn away from, hard to discount. Or to put on the shelf for later. The characters live and breathe; they are weak, brave, human; they can get under your skin and keep you awake at night. Susan O'Neill, author, Don't Mean Nothing
My Sisters Made of Light is a novel about the extraordinary courage of ordinary women living in the closed society that is contemporary Pakistan.
It exposes Western readers to Pakistan’s myriad cultures—from the mystical Sindhis in the South to the noble Pathans in the Northwest Province, the Punjabis in the East and the Balochis of the West.
Ujala, a teacher-trainer, travels throughout her country trying to unravel the strands of violence that are braided into Pakistani life, most notably “honor crimes” which engender pain and hopelessness in both their direct victims, as well as enabling social control of the broader female population. Along the way she enlists her sisters, her brother, her father, her students, and friends in the effort to rescue those destined for honor crimes, and in the process she rescues herself.
This raw but inspiring story of grass-roots resistance against oppression and injustice will spark the caring intelligence of readers everywhere.
Praise for My Sisters Made of Light
"Jacqueline St. Joan writes with the passion of a life-long feminist and the insight of wide experience. She brings to her story what she brought to the law, a conviction that life is full of both struggle and purpose and that grace comes to us when we have no reason to expect it." —Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina
"I started reading My Sisters Made of Light and could not put it down. It is a powerful story, well-presented, well-researched, and written with passion. The labor of duty became a labor of love. I read voraciously but have not come across a work which deals so effectively and skillfully with the cultural fault lines of Pakistani society." —S. Akhtar Ehtisham, author of A Medical Doctor Examines Life on Three Continents: A Pakistani View
"My Sisters Made of Light is an exquisitely-told story. By weaving her far-reaching knowledge, experience, and imagination, Jacqueline St. Joan’s characters and settings bloom. Its narrative movement is simultaneously dynamic and delicate, deftly floating the reader through scenes, internal points of view, and an overall intriguing story that resonates in both the physical and ethereal senses." —Tom Popp, managing editor of F Magazine