Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam

A Golden Age is a beautiful and touching story about the Bangladesh War of Independence told through the eyes of one family, Rehana and her children Sohail and Maya. While Sohail and Maya join the movement against Pakistan, Rehana is a little reluctant to let her children go. Eventually, she relents and does what she can to help her country.

Anam presents an interesting perspective on this time period in Bangladesh’s history. Her characters are believable and the story line was compelling. It turned out to be quite the page-turner. With the information that Anam provides regarding the War of Independence, I think I really got a sense of what life was like in Bangladesh in the 70s. To be quite honest, I wasn’t quite sure where Bangladesh was. Now, I know.

Rehana was my favourite character. I worried with her when she had very difficult decisions to make. I felt her anguish. I also loved the descriptions of the food that she was making. It all sounded wonderfully appetizing. I’m a big fan of Middle Eastern/East Indian cuisine and each dish made my mouth water. I’m going to have to find recipes for some of Rehana’s dishes and attempt to make them myself.

Because I like being exposed to other languages, I was delighted to see that the text was peppered with both Urdu and Bengali.

This debut novel is wonderful. I’m looking forward to more of Tahmima Anam’s work.

Highly recommended.

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