This House of Clay and Water by Faiqa Mansab is a novel about love, freedom, and identity. It is the kind of book that stays with you long after you have finished reading it. The book is the debut novel of Faiqa Mansab. Set in Lahore, the book narrates the life of three completely different individuals. Nida, a woman married into a rich and affluent political family. Sasha, a middle-class woman and a mother of two, with the love for designer labels. And Bhanggi, a eunuch who sits under a tree in the dargah and plays his flute.
The three lead completely different lives in the beautiful garden city of Lahore, which has been very vividly described in the book. The three meet at the Dargah. It is in this place of worship that the friendship between the two ladies starts. The two are polar opposites but somehow find solace in each other’s company. Everything is going well until Nida falls for Bhanggi.
The book touches upon so many deep and sensitive subjects that one has no other option than to go with the flow and feel everything that the characters are going through. The style of writing is very smooth and plays an important role in transforming the story. Mansab transitions between first-person narration and a freestyle. The reader automatically adjusts to the change because they are not abrupt.
The book aptly describes the social structure of the so-called modern society. Hypocrisy, money, and power dictate how lives should be led. It is a tale about a society that still continues to uphold its patriarchal nature. Which believes that a woman is less than a man. It talks about breaking stereotypes and how women continue to be exploited in the name of religion. This House Of Clay and Water is a powerful and moving novel that should be read by each and every individual who has ever thought about where they belong.