During the 1960’s a fire destroys Zinab’s village. The village is rebuilt to modern standards much to her delight. Zinab likes to think she is a modern young woman. Never the less she submits to an arranged marriage after meeting and approving of her families choice. She marries Ishmael a school teacher.The young couple enjoy a western style honeymoon and meet a European couple staying in the same guest house. The wife is fascinated by the arranged marriage, but is ignorant of the culture and embarrass the young couple when they later visit them in Singapore. This brings the couple closer together and they fall in love.Zinab struggles with adjusting to a new husband and his family, where old ideas often cause conflict with her modern outlook. Ishmael’s father makes sexual advances to Zinab but her husband cannot accept what she tells him. Zinab later finds out the shocking truth that other females in the family.have also endured rape and incest from her father in law.When Zinab confides in her grandmother she gives her advice and a large steel hair pin to defend or protect herself from her father in law. In the late stages of pregnancy Zinab falls and becomes paralyzed - this makes her an easy target for her father in law.At her baby’s christening Zinab lies alone and vulnerable. Her father in law tries to rape her but she is saved by her grandmother. During the night Zinab encouraged by her body’s returning sensations crawls to the bathroom. On her return she encounters her father in law and he trips over her outside the bathroom. Her father in law falls onto the lethal hair pin Zinab is holding. Was his death murder or an accident?Zinab narrates the story describing how ideas and taboos have changed in the past fifty years but how difficult it was for her. as a young modern bride in a male dominated society to be heard and believed.