The Good Daughter, by Amra Pajalic

Mum took a deep breath and when she spoke again her voice was calmer. ‘They judge everything by how well you make coffee. They’ll say “If she can’t make coffee how is she going to cook for her husband?”’
‘I’m not looking for a husband.’

She’s grown up as Sammie, away from her mother’s Bosnian family and friends, and free to be what she sees as ‘normal’ teenager. But now she’s Sahiba, back in the fold of the Bosnian community and struggling to work out whether she can be Muslim AND normal.

Sahiba is a funny, honest first person narrator, struggling with the changes brought about by her mother taking over care of her ageing grandfather and returning to live amongst the immigrant community. She also has to contend with changes in her friendships, trying to fit in at a new school, bullying, boys and figuring out just who her allies are in her crazy new world. To top it all off, her mother is bi-polar and there are signs that she is not taking her medication.

The Good Daughter is alternately hilarious and insightful, touching not just on issues of identity and mental illness, but also on bullying, homosexuality, teen relationships and more, with a voice and plot which teens will engage with.

The Good Daughter

The Good Daughter by Amra Pajalic
Text Publishing, 2009