Azra is smart and knows how to get what she wants. She thinks. When she wins a place in a national science competition, she thinks her biggest problem is getting her parents’ permission to go. But she doesn’t know they’re arranging her marriage in Pakistan to a cousin she’s never met. In just three months’ time.
Can she find a way to do what she wants, while keeping her parents happy? Or must she choose between being a good daughter or having her own freedom?
Helen’s debut novel is about forced child marriage in contemporary Australia, based on extensive research and interviews.
The development of Promising Azra was supported by a mentorship from the Children's Book Council of Australia (NSW), as well as two residential fellowships through the NSW Writers’ Centre, and Varuna The National Writers House.
‘Reading Promising Azra prompted me to revisit stories I have heard too many times to count. Forced marriage is not bound to a certain culture or religion, it's an epidemic affecting children from many diverse backgrounds where culture reforms are essential. For real change to be possible, it’s important for us to hear these stories.’ Dr Eman Sharobeem, National Community Engagement Manager, SBS