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This novel of a woman's anguished, shortened life is set against the very real history and horrors of Afghanistan between 1980 and 2001. Beginning as a pampered 12 year old living with her father and two servants in a nice home near the palace while her brother completed med school in NYC, the tale painfully details her emotional growth and character development. First there is the invasion by the Soviets, including plans for them to join her brother in the US. Instead, however, her father is murdered and she refuses to leave her beloved homeland and becomes a freedom fighter. She sees the death of friends and family even as her brother is reportedly murdered randomly in NYC. Life is hard, and a reporter friend of her father and a doctor who went to med school with her brother attempt to convince her to leave Afghanistan for the safety of the US while she gains a nursing degree. Eventually she does go, but still feels as if there is no place for her and soon leaves for England in hope of their greater tolerance of muslims. She returns to Afghanistan after the Soviets leave, in the early days of the Taliban, and finds that her brother was linked to Bin Laden. In the end, she dies at the hands of the Taliban even as, without medication, tuberculosis is slowly killing her. A pervasive thread throughout, is her obsessive love for a man who was once her brother's best friend and a double agent with the CIA. It is also interspersed with past Afghani history. It is rather well-written, but some of the interpersonals with her beloved are a bit awkward. Basically, it is a good read which ensnares the reader.
Then there is the narrator. Speech is clear, and pronunciations of non-English names and words seem to come easily. Characters are differentiated well enough, but the accents used seem a bit odd. But the most useful tip is to listen at speed 1.5x or you might become ill-tempered.
Thanks to AudioBook Blast for the opportunity to receive this book.
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Would you try another book from Kathleen MacArthur and/or Darla Middlebrook?
Stay away. If there is a prize for poor narration, then this book would win.