As young widow Rehana Haque awakes one March morning, she might be forgiven for feeling happy. Today she will throw a party for her son and daughter. In the garden of the house she has built, her roses are blooming, her children are almost grown, and beyond their doorstep, the city is buzzing with excitement after recent elections. Change is in the air. But none of the guests at Rehana's party can foresee what will happen in the days and months ahead. For this is 1971 in East Pakistan, a country on the brink of war. And this family's life is about to change forever. Set against the backdrop of the Bangladesh War of Independence, A Golden Age is a story of passion and revolution, of hope, faith, and unexpected heroism. In the chaos of this era, everyone, from student protesters to the country's leaders, from rickshaw'wallahs to the army's soldiers, must make choices. And as she struggles to keep her family safe, Rehana will be forced to face a heartbreaking dilemma.More
The experience of Rehana Haque, mother of two, is set against the backdrop of the 1971 Bangladesh war for independence. As a young widowed mother, Rehana loses custody of her children. After she gets them back, she vows never to lose them again. But Rehana cannot insulate her family from the war's impact - her children become involved in the rebellion. The talented Madhur Jaffrey narrates this story evenly and compassionately, drawing listeners into Rehana's life and the complexities of civil war. Creating memorable characters through subtle shifts in tone and accent, Jaffrey gives life to imperious Indian women, humble servants, and fervent college students. Her portrait of Rehana - devoted mother, unlikely heroine - is particularly nuanced and compelling.
"An immersive, wrenching narrative." (Publishers Weekly)
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sad, poignant, thought-provoking, beautiful
- Rio Delta Wild
five star, with reservations