Paper Wife

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A wonderful story related to domestic issues and social security of a woman by Laila Ibrahim who has been trying to discuss such domestic issues through her writings for a long time. People who have read other novels of Laila Ibrahim like Mustard Seed and Yellow Crocus that originally made her famous, this one is an extra delight for them as it is written in much maturity and usage of the words and the foreign language at some places is awesome.

The novel takes us back in the era of 1923 where Mei Ling is married to a widower with whom she is to pretend to be his first wife so that they can enter California as this was the rule of the state. Mei also has an orphan with her whom she likes and wants to help her in all possible means for a better life.

The tragedy opens when Mei comes to know that her husband was just a house boy without money and her parents were deceived after all by the false stories by her so called husband. The difficulties that Mei faced really make us feel awe for her miserable life as she is compelled to earn even when she is pregnant moreover the orphan girl Siew that she loves so much faces the fate of a prostitute sooner or later that she cannot stop.

Still despite of all these domestic and social injustices Mei possess the will to survive and form a family which shows her true spirit and perhaps that what the writer wanted to convey to the girls that they should never lose hope on their future. The narrator Nancy Wu has played her role excellently and there is not a hint of a weakness in the narration department from the start to the end.




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