TD ButtonLife in the compound Maria lives in is never boring. There’s a multitude of people to talk to, as well as children to take care. For her, this is a normal way of life, and she wouldn’t have things any other way. After all, it allows her to bring food to the table in order to provide her family with their every need. In her eyes, she has everything she could ever ask for and more.

When Maria begins experiencing things she never imagined, life starts taking a different turn. She’s not quite sure as to what’s wrong with her, and she’s afraid of confiding in someone for fear of losing her livelihood. She’s come too far in order to lose everything now. Yet she can’t help but to wonder as to whether her recent ailments are a precursor to the unthinkable. A new child means another mouth to feed, something she can’t quite afford right now. On the other hand, her health might be in question.

Determined to make the most of the situation at hand, Maria keeps quiet about the goings-on within her body. In her mind’s eye, she hopes that in doing so no one else will take notice of her odd behavior. Unfortunately, that’s just wishful thinking. Eyes soon slowly turn her way, and questions arise. Questions, she realizes, she has no proper answer to. Yet when the tables are turned, and someone else’s livelihood comes into play, Maria comes to the realization that her life isn’t as bad as it seems.

TD BCA thought-provoking story, the reader becomes immersed in the lives of several women as they make do with the lots they’ve been dealt in life. While their ways of life might not be ideal for some, they’ve learned to coexist in a society that dictates when, where, and how they must live. Full of hope and the need to make the best of their worlds, these women interact with one another each and every day, never once realizing just how different they are from one another. Until the very moment when one of their own changes her very circumstance, only then can they truly see just how different they are.

Mohanalakshmi weaves a tale that pulls at your heartstrings, and makes you think about things you never thought you would. For most of us, we’re comfortable with the lives we live. We have everything we could ever ask for and more. Yet there are those of us who are not accorded that privilege. We must continuously to strive in making our worlds a better place in hopes of making ends meet for our loved ones. Sometimes, it’s not possible for us to have the home and lives we wish for, thus making do with what we’ve got. Yet there’s always a silver lining behind every dark cloud, a theme Mohanalakshmi injects throughout every page of her story.



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Edna, Amira, and Noof are neighbors but that doesn’t mean they know what happens behind closed doors or that they have anything in common with their hired help.

Maria, Maya, and Lillie live in the same compound as their employers but that’s where the similarities begin and end.

There’s never a dull moment for anyone in this desert emirate.

The unending gossip and unrelenting competition may be business as usual for expatriate communities but the unspoken secrets threaten to destroy life as everyone knows it.



MR PictureAbout The Author:

Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar is a South Asian American who has lived in Qatar since 2005. Moving to the Arabian Desert was fortuitous in many ways since this is where she met her husband, had a baby, and made the transition from writing as a hobby to a full time passion.

She has since published five e-books including a mom-ior for first time mothers, Mommy But Still Me, a guide for aspiring writers, So You Want to Sell a Million Copies, a short story collection, Coloured and Other Stories, and a novel about women’s friendships, Saving Peace.

Most recently, From Dunes to Dior, is a collection of essays related to her experiences as a female South Asian American living in the Arabian Gulf. After she joined the e-book revolution, she dreams in plotlines.

Learn more about her work on her website at or follow her latest on Twitter: @moha_doha.



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