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A Moment Comes

Review

A Moment Comes

Bradbury, author of notable mystery SHIFT and historical suspense WRAPPED, brings readers into another time and place with A MOMENT COMES. Set in 1947 Pakistan, the story changes among three teens on the brink of a volatile situation after the British separate the Muslim and Sikh people. Tariq, a Muslim teen, gets caught in a mob and has to reconcile his actions from that afternoon with his dream of going to Oxford to study. Anupreet is barely healed from another mob attack when she begins work at the British home of Margaret, daughter of a British mapmaker. Tariq is working for the mapmaker and hopes that will earn him a reference to Oxford and a ticket away. As the three cross paths and cultures, each are pulled towards, and yet away, from each other as they struggle to find their worth and place. The danger outside the British home where one lives and two work, yet readers will know they are heading for an ending that will change the three teens’ lives in this well-crafted, intricate read.
 
"While her books are very different, Bradbury weaves suspense with complicated, relatable characters in engrossing situations."
 
Tariq finds it hard to turn away from childhood friend Sameer when he pulls Tariq into the mob. As they beat Sikh people fleeing from their burning temple, Tariq hits harder than he meant to. He tries to live with the knowledge that he may have killed someone. At his home, his brother, the war hero veteran, is bitter with half a leg and speaks against the British. But Tariq is counting on his work at the British mapmaker’s house to earn him his dream of going to England to study at Oxford.
 
Anupreet’s facial scar may be healing, but she is still fearful of being attacked on the streets again. She is sent to work for Margaret’s family as her own family had to take in relatives. There is no room for her now and she has to contribute money to help her family. She mostly gets along with Margaret, helping her with her hair in the hot climate and taking her to the market to find suitable clothes. But Anupreet realizes Tariq watches her while he flirts with Margaret. She wants only to return to her family and be safe.
 
Margaret shamed her family when she fell in love with a British soldier. All of society seemed to know about it when he was sent back to America. She’s not sorry about that, but she is not happy to be in this hot strange land with no piano. Tariq helps resolve her boredom, by leaving her cigarettes and presents. He also helps her and her mother when they are exposed to cholera while volunteering.
 
Margaret’s father speaks of how unfair his own work is, separating a people who were leaving peaceably without the British involvement. She does not really understand what is going on, but as she gets to know them, Margaret begins to see Tariq and Anupreet as friends and people with problems. 
 
Tariq sees Sameer blackmail market shop owners and knows he is involved with bombs and more in the area. He is trying to keep Sameer away while clinging to the increasingly unlikely prospect of leaving Pakistan for Oxford. When Sameer tries to have a mysterious package delivered to Margaret’s family, Tariq intervenes.  He steps in again when Anupreet is in danger. Anupreet and Margaret then band together to help Tariq when his bravery endangers himself.
 
While her books are very different, Bradbury weaves suspense with complicated, relatable characters in engrossing situations. Anupreet, Margaret and Tariq are unusual heroes with a lot to overcome but readers will be cheering for them.

Reviewed by Amy Alessio on June 21, 2013

A Moment Comes
by Jennifer Bradbury

  • Publication Date: June 25, 2013
  • Genres: Young Adult 12+
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 1416978763
  • ISBN-13: 9781416978763