A Woman Like Her

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 17 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

Very well written. So glad the author was respective of Qandeel through out the book. After knowing of her story I was really wanting to read the book. I’m glad o requested it. Very interesting, it forces you to question the culture I grew up in.
Was this review helpful?
Qandeel Baloch was a Pakistan lady who was on social media- and yet because of this she was sadly killed /murdered by her brother.
This story is such an emotional, heartbreaking, shocking tale of a young lady who was killed by the very people who should have protected her. Her very own family and for what? The fact that they felt that she put shame onto the family.
Although it is such a heartbreaking story I feel that it needs to be told . To make people aware that these horrid crimes are still going on today.
Thank you so much to both NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishers for my eARC of this book in exchange for my honest unbiased review
Was this review helpful?
A heartbreaking look at a woman who broke into the internet world became a cyber star bright vibrant who was horrifically killed by her own family old customs for having shamed her family.So well written so shocking and revealing. #netgalley #bloomsburyuk
Was this review helpful?
I LOVED this book. Right away from reading the blurb I just had to know more and I flew through this book. It was heartbreaking, raw, brutal and started numerous interesting discussions surrounding social media. 
From the prologue we know exactly what has happened and the identity of the perpetrator - the victim's brother - and that was definitely the right way to start as with that knowledge I judged the rest of the book differently than I think I would have had I not known.
Each chapter followed someone different who was either connected to Qandeel, knew her, was in a similar situation that she had been or had been affected by social media in some way and I loved it. I really enjoyed that each chapter had a different focus but that it all came back to the same thing; ultimately a woman was murdered as a direct result of her social media presence, a presence that would not be of any significance in many other places in the world. Even after death Qandeel was still being exploited and yet so many are quick to place the blame on her. 
This book also questioned whether the murder had been as straightforward as we think and though it didn't draw any definite conclusions I liked that it was left a little open-ended for the reader to decide what they believe.
I enjoyed this book and am so glad I read it. It shocked me several times and made me take a step back to consider how we all present ourselves to others on the internet. It was scary to think that something like social media, which is so prevalent especially at the moment, could be the death of a human being. 
I highly recommend this book.
Was this review helpful?
In July 2016 Pakistan’s “first social media celebrity” – Qandeel Baloch - aged 26 was found dead. She, and her parents, had been drugged by her brother and then she had been killed. It was planned that Waseem, with family help, would take her body from her town house in Multan, to be disposed of in their village of Shah Sadar Din where the casual killing of dozens of women occurred annually. Her father however complained to the police and investigation – and international interest followed. This scrutiny – possibly more than the killing itself caused the communities to “close ranks”. Maher will go back to investigate – and write about – the killing a few years later. It will be hard to identify the truth in this evolving situation. But he will produce a series of vignettes that are directly related to the killing – and others that give an indirect but detailed background of the place and mores in which Qandeel lived and died.
It should be said that Qandeel (her “celebrity” name) was raised in a poor rural village one where extreme and long standing tribal customs are justified by political forms of Islamic interpretation. The community is deeply misogynistic with women held as valueless, but nevertheless regarded as holding a family’s and community’s honour through their behaviour. Underlying this is a deep hypocrisy where the realities of life are different to the stated values – public exposure of this is unacceptable and liable to lead to “honour killing”.
Qandeel was married young to a violent husband, until he threw her out. She wants her independence, but has the need to earn her living (and support her elderly parents). Work is public & in public places women are automatically targets for persistent sexual harassment and abuse. Nevertheless this exceptional woman will start to build a career for herself and an income for her family. She will move from village, to town, to city and international awareness. Her social media “face” – part truth, part lies and exaggeration, much sexualised – will allow her to move to more lucrative modelling and TV roles. But before that can happen her brothers will intervene to remove her.
With its focus on the casual and systemic misogyny and violence this will be a hard book for any sane woman to read. But it is so important that it is read and understood. This is a deeply barbaric culture in both the small and large points. Yes, Maher will show the changes in legislation to try and protect women from online abuse. He will show brave women who are trying to move forward to meet more common cultural norms of equality (perhaps) for women. But equally this book shows the length of the road to be travelled and the risks women face every day.
The format of the book can be hard to read as well, with a non linear narrative of Qandeel’s last days. But persevere. Exploring issues indirectly reflects the inability of Pakistanis to face their uncomfortable realities. The book shows the complexity of unravelling the abuses prevalent. And, yes if we accept that a murdered woman is truly not responsible for being killed – then who is?  Who “outed” her, who is the murderer (or murderers) and who supported him, colluded with him and will ultimately let him avoid justice?  Detailed chapters point the finger – and surprise, surprise (not!) we see that this is not just a Pakistani issue – we need to look to our own houses too.
Was this review helpful?
An interesting read, although not easy to keep up with, it’s a little thready and the formation needs some work.
It is a tragic story of a very promising young woman’s untimely and grossly unnecessary demise.
The empathetic writing is reflective of this and I thoroughly enjoyed the story, although I found it very sad.
A well researched and well written piece.
Was this review helpful?