BOOK REVIEW | ‘Our Tainted Souls’ by Minaal Maan

Wealth divides us, but we are all the same.

Minaal Maan’s novel exposes the inequality, injustice and unfairness that pervades not only Pakistani society, but in societies throughout the world. Added to which the cultural mores that assert the power of men over women and the strictures people have to live by as a result of their position in society.Wealth dominates, and the poor suffer, marginalised and oppressed.

What makes Our Tainted Souls memorable is how, despite the circumstance we are born into, an individual can have the foresight to understand they can and do deserve better. It only needs a catalyst.
We meet Seher and Ahmad, troubled and restless. Seher, a girl conditioned by a life in rural poverty, wanting a better life and Ahmed, from a family of the political elite, a free spirit, railing against endemic corruption and resistant to a life carved out for him in the political establishment. Their meeting unknowingly shapes and changes each other more than they could expect. The story exposes the rich-poor divide and the difficulties in crossing or closing it.
Sometimes in order to better oneself, you have to accept harsh sacrifices.
A beautifully crafted novel that poses many questions that are relevant in society today.
Thank you Minaal for shining a light on inequality, for championing the rights of women in Pakistani society and for bringing the diverse and multi-layered landscapeof Lahore to life.

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