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Excellent narration! Difficult situations occur throughout this story, but the descriptions are not overly drawn out or exhausting. Throughout the tale one hears understanding, compassion and faith. This is a compelling peak into the turmoil Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis have endured in recent times. Wonderful character development.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Like "A Thousand Splendid Suns," this is a GOOD novel made more important by the story it tells. From a literary point of view, it's probably a better novel than "Suns", but one point concerns me: I don't think there's a sympathetic portrait of even one minor Pakistani character. In a novel depicting war, no matter how aggressive the opponent nation, I think a detail like that is important to help stop the cycle of dehumanization that allows war.
The novel relates a struggle that was too soon forgotten by the West, even after the flood of publicity that followed George Harrison's "Concert for Bangladesh" (the first big "charity/consciousness raising concert) in the aftermath of the environmental and famine crisis that followed the civil war.
We know that the newly independent Bangladesh had victories in terms of human rights and just government, but also setbacks. It remains a story that we ought to know more about, and the author has provided an excellent starting point in an accessible but absorbing novel that manages to communicate the horrors of war without leaving a listener in psychic numbness. She also hints indirectly in the story at some of the causes of the eventual rise of Islamist fundamentalism among some of the population. Outside of the historical context, the novel paints a picture of how "ordinary" folks can rise to heroic action in crisis.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful