“Why is one place home and another place just isn’t?” The voice of Emma from AN INFIDEL IN PARADISE
On the heels of her parents’ separation, 16-year-old Emma moves to Pakistan, with her mother and two siblings. Emma’s no stranger to moving but starting over in a new school and a new country, without the support of her beloved father, against a backdrop of political turmoil, is a challenge even for an experienced traveler.
Yesterday was the launch for my debut novel, AN INFIDEL IN PARADISE. If you want more on what that experience was like, check out my blog, http://www.sjlaidlaw.com/blog/
Emma’s story is close to my heart. I’ve spent most of my working life counseling kids like Emma who change schools, countries, and even continents every few years. By sixteen they may have been to half-a-dozen schools, in as many countries, yet have no place that really feels like home. In fact, psychologists refer to kids like Emma as Third Culture Kids, because their culture, or their sense of who are in the world, isn’t tied to any one country, or group of people, but is a blend of the many places they’ve lived and people they’ve encountered.
Like a true global nomad, I’ve lived in ten countries, on four continents, including two years in Pakistan, the setting of the novel. Many of the things Emma experiences in the novel are things I went through myself during those two years. The rest are drawn from my years of working with kids, struggling to adjust to the ever-changing landscapes of their lives. For more on that, check out my interview on http://migwriters.blogspot.ca/
So, yesterday, I sent Emma out into a new world, that of the reading public. I fear for her, as I would if she was starting over in any new place, but I also trust she will find friends. If you’ve taken the time to read this entry, you’re already someone who will take a chance on someone new, so I think you and Emma will get along just fine.