|Tajikistan is a harsh place of political and religious repression. It remains deeply patriarchal. The first modern-day novel in English describing Tajikistan, The Disobedient Wife is dedicated to the women of Tajikistan.
The Disobedient Wife tells the story of two very different women, both trapped in a fabric of a social environment that is hostile to them. Harriet Simenon is the rich wife of a powerful expat business man, with all the privilege that entails; yet her journal portrays a darker interior world of isolation and loneliness. Nagris is her Tajik nanny and maid who struggles with poverty and her subordinate role both at work and as a woman in society in general. Yet Nagris possesses a strength that Harriet comes to admire. As Harriet's life unravels against a backdrop of violence and betrayal Nagris becomes her support and an unexpected friendship develops.
In a narrative rich with a sense of place and deeply humane, Milisic-Stanley brings the acute observation of an artist and social anthropologist to bear on this compelling story of two women surviving and thriving in difficult circumstances.