The Idle Stance of the Tippler Pigeon by Safinah Danish Elahi – Book Review

The Idle Stance of the Tippler Pigeon by Safinah Danish Elahi – Book Review

The Idle Stance of the Tippler Pigeon by Safinah Danish Elahi

The Idle Stance of the Tippler Pigeon

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Synopsis

Zohaib, Misha and Nadia believed they would be in each other’s lives forever. As children they played, argued, teased and loved one another. Yet nothing could have prepared them for the tragic turn of events one fateful afternoon in Karachi, Pakistan, when the divisions and differences between them are revealed.

Years later and they are still trying to piece their lives back together, still trying to make sense of what happened. Zohaib is living in London, haunted by the ghosts of the past. Nadia has escaped the household where she first met Misha and Zohaib but finds fate delivering her back to their door…

The Idle Stance of the Tippler Pigeon is a beautifully rendered portrait of love, healing, and long-buried pain, digging deep into the nature of trauma and class division.

Review by Stacey

Trauma is something that can last a lifetime and haunt those who suffer from it and The Idle Stance of the Tippler Pigeon is a book about the lives of the people who were affected by a traumatic experience, years ago.

The book features three main characters Nadia, a young woman who works in an office. She is married to a deadbeat who drinks himself stupid every day and they live in the slums in Pakistan. Zohaib, a young man who is living in London trying to make something of himself. He is seeing a psychiatrist to help him come to terms with the past. Lastly, Misha who is Zohaib’s sister. Her story is told in the past when she was just a child. Nadia, known as Nono back then lived with Misha and her family.

The plot is slow burner and each chapter alternates between the three main characters and the odd other person thrown in for good measure. It is also told in the present and past which jumps around. At first, I was confused as to what was going on as I hadn’t realised we weren’t in the same time period as it isn’t stated at the beginning of the chapters.

I loved the feel of the story, how it is about three friends/family members and works through their lives and their trauma. I also loved that the scenes were both in Pakistan and London. The book is quite hard-hitting but it was certainly handled with sensitivity and care by the author.

Overall, this is a book about how women are treated and about families. It is a book that brings trauma and grief to the forefront and makes the reader face it head-on.


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Safinah Danish Elahi

Safinah Danish Elahi

Safinah Danish Elahi is a lawyer, poet, writer, and the founder of an independent publishing house based in Pakistan. Her poetry collection has been critically acclaimed and one of her novels has been commissioned for television. Safinah was selected for the Iowa Writer’s Workshop 2022 Fall Residency and is often on the judging panel for writing competitions across Pakistan.

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