Review: Maria Toorpakai – A Different Kind of Daughter

A Different Kind of Daughter
Maria Toorpakai

Maria was born in a part of Pakistan where being a girl means that you must travel with a man at all times, and remain inside the rest of the time. Maria felt trapped, but luckily her parents were free-thinkers that knew how to support their daughter. After Maria burns her dresses, there is no turning back and she lives as a young man for a number of years before being outed on a squash court when pursuing her dream.

27416066I could hardly put this novel down, which was surprising because its basically a memoir. I’ve never heard of her though, so it was all new to me. I did enjoy the ‘journey’ right from the beginning of her life.

I would go mad on ‘house arrest’. Maria was so brave, doing what she really wanted to do – but she also knew she would die if she didn’t play. I didn’t understand how destructive she could be, but I could understand how she felt she had no other options. All the same though, the kitchen seemed like a better place of practice than her bedroom!

Dengue! She catches Dengue virus! That’s my area of work, so I generally get super excited when it is mentioned. Here it is in a real world situation. Although it bring Maria to her knees, it doesn’t make any difference to her desire to play sport.

What wasn’t clear to me is whether Maria identifies as a woman or as a man, or something in between. With all the sports testing that is going on at the moment, I would expect this to be a problem. That’s not a complain about the book though. Just my particular interest in biology and genetics.

I really did enjoy this, and I’d recommend it to a wide range of readers – those who have doubts about Muslims being all part of the Taliban, or people who are interested in elite sport, or people who want to know about some every-day life in Pakistan.


2 thoughts on “Review: Maria Toorpakai – A Different Kind of Daughter

  1. This is totally a fake story. she even not belongs to south wazirestan. my name is Asif Qayum i am brother of her father shamsul qayum, my father and her grand father name is Engineer Abdul Qayum we all have FR bannu domicile even my grand farther Bani khan Domicile is of FR Bannu. our whole family belongs to FR bannu and have FR Bannu Domicile than how she claim that she belongs to south waziristan. i am surprised that what she saying 99% fake story. we are highly educated family in our family DR and Engineer are in Dozen both male & Female. we all belongs to FR Bannu only She belongs to South Waziristan is it possible? this is a non seance to make the world fool. my question is that before writing this book is KIRKUS did any research about her family, sorry dear you just write a book for publicity. i am her uncle her father is 20 year older than me i am university teacher, but dear you know nothing about her family i can show you the medical doctor documents that her father is mentally retarded and mental men make you people fool, you know that my Grand Fathe in other words her Grand Grand father visit itly in 1921 to understand the education system of Itly and you say that without research, sorry dear.

    • Thank you for your input to this review. I know nothing of Pakistan, so I could not verify the information one way or another. Since I wasn’t interested in any personal publicity for Maria, I didn’t worry about it.

      I’d still recommend it as an interesting read.

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