The Truth About Peacock Blue is a novel by Rosanne Hawke.
Hawke lives in rural South Australia but has spent 10 years as an aid worker in Pakistan so her setting rings true. The novel follows the life of Aster an almost 13 year old Christian living in a small village in Pakistan.
An opportunity to have an education at a girls school in the city seems like a wonderful chance for Aster, but being in a minority doesn't make things easy. From the beginning one of her teachers seems to have it in for her. When Aster is accused of blasphemy the real trouble begins.
In Pakistan blasphemy carries the death sentence and there is very little, if any, evidence required.
Inspired by the tragic true story of Asia Bibi and the assassinations of those who have tried to speak out against the blasphemy laws this story isn't about happy endings and hollywood fixes.
Despite it's sad narrative this book is a challenging read. I think these kinds of books are especially important for children who live in countries like NZ and Australia to develop both empathy and awareness of how life is around the world. This would make an excellent novel to study with intermediate and high school aged children.
As an adult I found this a very moving read, the relationships are beautiful and the joy and hope of the story manage to triumph even the bleakest turns.
Details - Allen & Unwin September 2015, RRP $15.99
love you more than a box of tissues at easy reach xxx