Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam

A Golden Age
by Tahmima Anam
Harper (January 8, 2008)
288 pages

Summary in a Sentence:

Rehana Haque, a young widow with two teenage children in East Pakistan in 1971, is forced to make some difficult choices when her happy life is disrupted by the outbreak of the Bangladesh war for independence.

My thoughts:
"Dear Husband, 
I lost our children today."
Meet Rehana Haque. A widowed mother of two in 1970s East Pakistan, Rehana would do anything for her children. Shortly after her husband's death, Rehana allowed her brother-in-law to take custody of her two children for a year, and she never lets herself forget it. She is a devoted mother, perhaps to a fault, and the unchanging love of a mother for her children is at the forefront of this novel about the war for Bangladesh's independence.

This novel starts out strong, but without a baseline knowledge of the Bangladesh War for Independence, the reader could easily feel a little lost. Also, I had a very hard time making a connection with Rehana's two children, Sohail and Maya. I found that I didn't really care what happened to the characters in the novel.

Luckily, the second half of the novel takes on a suspenseful edge as the war and the Haque family's involvement in the resistance increases. The last chapters are page turners indeed, and make this book one worth reading.

~ Read for the South Asian Author Challenge ~

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Other Reviews:

Motherhood and AnarchyA Book Sanctuary | Trish's Reading Nook


Lisa said...

I've had this one for months are almost forgot about it. That's probably a sign that I have too many books, right?!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I listened to the audio version of this book last year. I liked it, but did not love it.

Amanda said...

I'm sad to hear that this wsn't as good as you'd like!

Sharyla said...

Great review. One of my biggest annoyances in myself or maybe in authors are books that I have to read about they events in them before I actually read the book. I have to learn about the War of the Roses to read a book I've heard great things about but haven't gotten a chance to read yet. Maybe some background information would be helpful, in the back of the book within the book, or at the front. Something to help the reader along. This way if there is a really great plot, it won't be missed by those of us that don't know that there even was such a thing as The Bangladesh War...

I am also sorry the book wasn't as good in the beginning as one would hope, but I'm glad the last few chapters made it worth reading. I love it when that happens!!

Anonymous said...

That first line is a killer though - it would make me pick up the book!

Anonymous said...

That's why I have a hard time not finishing books I've started even if I do put them aside for a long time. I've been "reading" [an ARC copy too] Amy Bloom's new collection of short stories for months.

Michele said...

Oh gosh I was so glad to read your review....this book has been sitting patiently on my shelf for a couple of years at least. You just gave me the inspiration to finally read it. :)

Cherry said...

Came over from Cym Lowell's McLinky links for Book Review Party Wednesday.

Glad I read your review. Saves me from wading through tons of bad books to get to the good ones which I usually do. I don't think I would be picking this one up. My idea of a good book is when an author tells the tale masterfully, including guiding the readers through the events. Not disorienting them. I'm a demanding reader.

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