These are independent reviews of the products mentioned, but TIME receives a commission when purchases are made through affiliate links at no additional cost to the purchaser.

In 2018, Fatimah Asghar published their debut poetry collection, If They Come For Us. Now, Asghar’s debut novel, When We Were Sisters, channels their poetic sensibilities into a tender tale about three young siblings—Noreen, Aisha, and Kausar—and the ways in which they care for each other after their parents die. The siblings, taken in by their neglectful uncle, learn to lean on one another. Captured in Kausar’s thoughtful voice, grief ebbs and flows alongside a tumultuous journey of adolescence. Longlisted for a National Book Award, this exquisite debut wrestles with gender, siblinghood, family, and what it means to be Muslim in America—all through the lens of love. —Laura Zornosa

Buy Now: When We Were Sisters on Bookshop | Amazon

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at

Stay True
The Book of Goose
Mouth to Mouth
Life Between the Tides
5 stories