A Moment Comes
Atheneum, 2013 (2013)
Reviewed by Bob Walch
his young adult novel is about three young people caught up in the turmoil that accompanied the partition of India in 1947. Anupreet is a 16-year-old Sikh and Tariq, a Muslim, is two years older. Both teenagers are working in the household of a British cartographer who is one of the men creating the boundary between India and the new nation of Pakistan.
he third young person, Margaret, is the daughter of the cartographer and she isn't overly thrilled about living in this new, foreign environment. As the story unfolds, these three central characters share the alternating narrative, thus allowing the reader to see the developing, sectarian violence between Sikh and Muslim from different points of view.
hile Tariq hopes to go to college in England and sees his employer as a way of making that dream come true, Anupreet must cope with the fact that she has already lost family members in a violent attack on Sikhs. On the other hand, Margaret has no direct involvement in the cultural clash unfolding outside her window but she befriends Anupreet and is physically drawn to Tariq.
s the complex relationship between these three characters develops, the reader also gets a sense of why partition in this part of the world caused so many problems that still play a role in the relationship between these two countries.
he story's conclusion does offer the nice, neat wrap-up that we are so used to, but it is more realistic than the norm. Perhaps it is the author's intent to follow the lives of these characters in a sequel, although that doesn't seem to be the case. More than likely, Bradbury wanted to lend this story a sense of authenticity which means there can be no simple resolution to what occurs in this novel.
f you are curious about the title, consider that there are times in a person's life when he or she is provided with a chance to
do the right thing
A moment comes
in the lives of these three young people when they are given that opportunity.
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