The story begins with a Prologue taking place in 2008 with a woman being questioned by TSA officials as she tries to enter the United States. The story then moves to Karachi, Pakistan with a teenaged Ayla trying on clothes for an upcoming wedding and later at the wedding where Ayla becomes fascinated with the bride who does not seem happy. Next Ayla is off to school where a new student is introduced, Alia. At first they do not like each other but soon become best friends. When Ayla's mother invites some friends over to their house Ayla meets that bride, Tanzeena. They soon become friends after an awkward start. As they grow both Ayla and Alia are pressured by their families to be traditional women and marry young. Both want to go to college, however.
I loved this novel. The friendships among the women and their thoughts about the changing society that they lived in was eye opening for me. The culture of a traditional Islamic country was on display here as well and was educational for me as well. I highly recommend this novel to all who want to understand the world of Islamic countries.