Author: Andrea Bursfield
Price: Rs 738
Genre: Historic fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Afghanistan being in much trouble for many years has been a topic of journalist turned writers, for fiction and non-fiction alike and all of them have a shared shade of melancholy drawn all through it..
Fawad (do read the epilogue of why author chose this name) eleven year old boy has lost all in his family except his mother by the atrocities of Taliban reign.. Living on charity of his relatives his life revolves into hand to mouth state in a shattered home..Still he grows up into an intelligent, strong, brave boy with a fling of optimism with dreams and hopes for a better tomorrow..Meanwhile his mother Mariya is offered a job as a housekeeper at Georgie's house..Along Georgie we are introduced to two other friends James an engineer and May an engineer with whom Georgie shares her house..Then on the story kick starts with Fawad developing a big time crush on Georgie who is intelligent, well read and caring..To Fawad's utter dismay Georgie is involved with Haji Khan an Afghan warlord...He can only watch helplessly as the relation blossom...But soon things threaten to fall apart...
I loved the way Busfiled handled the plot ,the characters are so lovable, she has made it her point to make all the characters memorable just as that of the protagonist's, from Jamilla to Spandi -Fawad's playmates to James , May all stay deep in....Fawad who is introduced as a young boy,with nothing around to hold on to, his journey to being a young man with all the internal conflicts that of love , hate, distress and loss are portrayed well that you can't help but wish him well..Haji Khan epitomizes the darker part of the Taliban regime...The relation of Haji and Georgie goes through without much drama and fan fare giving the right picture with right dimension to the reader...All along the novel Bursfield's love for the country its culture and people pumps up...The human spirit at the hands of hard times and pressure, kinship , love and zeal to lead along are all portrayed without being preached..Bursfield has stayed away from making any political statements yet her stand comes clear and vivid through various situations Fawad comes face to face...Fawad comes to learn many things from alcohol to sex through the three foreigners..For him they a window to the world outside his.. Even through the hard times Fawd keeps his wit and humour alive..I loved the way Fawad played the role of matchmaker for his mother and the blind shopkeeper was a real treat to read along...
I loved the book for the beauty of the language and the style to portray a distressed life that could be changed by way of perception..