rating: 5 of 5 stars
This novel provided me with an understanding of Afghanistan and India and the life of women, arranged
marriages and culture from the 1850s. I enjoyed watching the protagonist, Darya, survive in a multitude of situations, mainly beyond her control, and journey into womanhood.
Coincidentally I had also borrowed the movie "Charlie Wilson's War" an
d it was about current-day USA efforts in Afghanistan. Not to spoil the movie so I will use basic thoughts here, however, the lack of follow-through on the part of the United States for providing for an educated future for the country is telling of the current situation.
Both the novel and movie provided me with some basic knowledge for me about Afghanistan as well as some of its history and political issues.
In the early 1980s, Charlie Wilson is a womanizing US congressional representative from Texas who seemed to be in the minor leagues, except for the fact that he is a member of two major foreign policy and covert-ops committees. However, prodded by his major conservative supporter, Joanne Herring, Wilson learns about the plight of the people are suffering in the brutal Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. With the help of the maverick CIA agent, Gust Avrakotos, Wilson dedicates his canny political efforts to supply the Afghan mujahideen with the weapons and support to defeat the Soviet Union. However, Charlie Wilson eventually learns that while military victory can had, there are other consequences and prices to that fight that are ignored to everyone's sorrow. Written by Kenneth Chisholm
from Kitchener Public Library
Moving swiftly between the tents of the Afghan plains to the tropical mansions of India to the dirty streets of London, this is a beautifully written novel about a 19th-century woman who, cursed by a jealous tribeswoman, travels to Victorian England in her desperate quest for survival.
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