Fiction featuring Care Experience

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Celestial Bodies

Jokha Alharthi

2019

Set in the village of al-Awafi in Oman, we encounter three sisters: Mayya, who marries Abdallah after a heartbreak; Asma, who marries from a sense of duty; and Khawla, who rejects all offers while waiting for her beloved, who has emigrated to Canada. These three women and their families witness Oman evolve from a traditional, slave-owning society slowly redefining itself after the colonial era, to the crossroads of its complex present. Celestial Bodies tell of Oman's evolution through the prism of one family's losses and loves. One of the characters, Salima, was in kinship care as a child. She lived with her uncle until she was 13, with her mother visiting occasionally. Salima returned to live with her mother at 13 but was promptly married off by her uncle.