69 pages 2 hours read

Wendy Mills

All We Have Left

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2016

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Chapters 5-8

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 5 Summary: “Alia”

Alia is unable to accept the fact that the punishment administered by her parents will preclude her attendance at the NYU program, noting that “I dare to dream, and they wallop it into oblivion” (36). She also reflects that, due to the tension in the family, her decision to wear the hijab, “[…] a white scarf covered with swirling yellow designs and delicate flowers in green and crimson” (37), has created a challenge in terms of coordinating other clothing items. Hoping that music will lift her mood, Alia is immediately admonished by her mother for annoying the neighbors. Imposing, despite her petite stature, Mama thinks that Alia’s decision to wear the scarf that morning is a joke made in retaliation for being grounded, or a ploy to cajole them into reconsidering their action. Alia wonders why Mama wants to make her feel “[…] like something she needs to wipe off her shoe” (39). As their argument escalates in the kitchen, Mama notes that Alia often fails to consider the consequences of her actions, e.g., the pain experienced by her parents when Alia had run away the previous year. Mama makes it clear that the parental decision remains unchanged and that Alia will see them in the principal’s office later that day.