The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani is set in 1947, right after the Independence of India from England. The leaders of India have split the country into two different lands, one for Hindus, India, and one for Muslims, now called Pakistan. Hiranandani takes us on the journey of one family who has been forced to leave their home because of the fighting between Hindus and Muslims (the two different religions).
Nisha and her family are Hindus living in what is now Pakistan. Nisha and Amil’s mother died during childbirth so they never had the chance to know her. As tensions rise between the two religions, it becomes more dangerous for the family to stay in their home. Nisha’s papa decides that the family must leave and head to the border. Through letters that she writes in her diary to her mother, Nisha describes the slow, harsh, and risky journey to her new home in Jodhpur.
Nisha is a quiet girl who rarely talks to anyone but her twin brother Amil. She lives with her papa, grandmother, and her brother. One of Nisha’s favortie things is helping Kazi, their cook, in the kitchen. When Nisha is in the kitchen with Kazi, he does all the talking while she listens. Amil and Kazi are her closest companions and neither one mind that she doesn’t speak. When Nisha learns that Kazi will not be going with the family on their journey she is heartbroken. She wonders if she will ever see him again.
I give this book 5 stars because Hiranandani really brings the characters to life with her writing. You will become attached the characters right away. You will feel like you have become part of the story. You will feel all the emotions that the characters are feeling. I recommend this book for anyone age 10 and up.
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