In his short life, 11-year-old Fawad has known more grief than most: his father and brother have been killed; his sister has been abducted; and Fawad and his mother, Mariya, must rely on the charity of family to eke out a hand-to-mouth existence. But despite their struggles, Fawad's love of life never fades.
Then Mariya finds a position as housekeeper for a charismatic Western woman, Georgie, whom Fawad discovers is caught up in a dangerous love affair with the infamous Afghan warlord Haji Khan.
©2009 Andrea Busfield; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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The storyline, the characters and the way the story was set.
Fawad, main character.
Not really but the book itself is amazingly set, it has inspired me t start reading more, experimenting with various books.
The author has a great storyline which keeps you the edge, wanting more.
"A more lighthearted view"
Having read Khaled Hosseini, and others about Afghanistan, all of which I would highly recommend, this is a surprising pleasant change. There are some lovely moments, and some funny characters, and seen from the eyes of a child, it gives you a view that even amidst a war children worry about childlike things and they see the world in a different way. Don't come to this book if you are hoping for 'The Kite Runner'...take it is as it is, a nice story about a young boy, in a war torn country, who thinks about life no differently to any boy his age. The author has captured it well.
"Wonderfully balanced book."
I listened to the unabridged audio version of this book during a recent long journey and the miles flew by. The author has hit just that perfect balance between putting across a serious message and making a book entertaining. For a book set in Afghanistan it has some wonderfully humorous momnents too.
Fawad is an 11yr old boy, living with his mother in an aunt's house. His father and two brothers are dead and no-one knows what has become of his sister since she was abducted by the Taliban. They have barely enough money to feed and clothe themselves, with nothing remaining to pay rent. Fawad runs with the local children, begging and stealing money from unsuspecting foreigners.
Their luck changes dramatically when his mother gets work as housemaid to a group of foreigners who share a house. She does all their cleaning and cooking and Fawad is allowed to live there with them. Georgie, James and May are wonderful characters and the interactions are great fun.
Fawad gets work in a local grocery store run by a blind man who is a constant source of insights into life and interactions between people; he has an opinion on everything.
As time passes over a period of about 18 months, there are both happy and sad moments but the book is ultimately uplifting.
The audiobook was beautifully read by Mark Meadows, bringing all the characters to life and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in global literature.
"Laugh out load; sad and romantc"
After reading the reviews written here, I felt I needed to add how much I enjoyed this book. It is a fantastic story of Fawad,a young boy's world in post Blair/Bushes Afganastan. After I read the story I serched Andrea Busfield Biography and she has indeed lived and worked in Afganastan as journelist so must know a great deal about the country. I don't think I can recomend this this book highly enough. It is pure joy, well read by Mark Medows
"Born Under a Million Shadows"
I was very disappointed with this book. The author has no in depth knowledge of Afghanistan and its people. I very much doubt she has even been there. Names, cultural references and traditions are completely misrepresented. The book is peppered with foul language and she has even managed to get these wrong. This book does not bear comparison with other, better written books such as those written by Khalid Hosseini. Ms Busfield needs to spend time in the country. This book could have been based in Basingstoke.
This is a lovely book which I initially avoided as I thought it would be a pale copy of the Kite Runner. It is a beautiful story, with a range of different people brought together in Afghanistan. I don't know if it is a particularly realistic portrayal of the people and the country of Afghanistan, but it was just what I needed after the images of death, misery and suffering we hear everyday. It is a positive image of the Afghan people working to rebuild their own society, despite the challenges they face.
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