Born in Bangladesh in 1975, the author, Tahmima Anam, grew up mostly in the West. It is through family stories of her native land, and stories about the Bangladesh independence war, that her debut novel: A Golden Age has come about.
The story begins with Rehana Haque, a young mother who is forced by the courts to allow her brother-in-law to take her children after the untimely death of her husband.
The plot then shifts and we meet her several years later. She has been re-united with her children, remains faithful to the memory of her late husband and she has established a life for herself in East Pakistan. After she gets her children back, she vows never to lose them again. However, her children are almost grown now, and they are beginning to make decisions for themselves. As the Bangladesh War of Independence rears its ugly head Rehana and her children are forced to take stock of their lives and decide how they want to live and act. Rehana sees that she cannot insulate her family from the war's impact, as her children become involved in the rebellion.
The audio book is excellent. Madhur Jaffrey narrates this story beautifully, drawing readers into Rehana's life and the complexities of the war. The characters are memorable as the reader uses subtle shifts in tone and accent . The only complaint that I had was that there were a lot of foreign words peppered throughout this book that made parts of the story a bit difficult to follow. I also obtained the print version of the book from the library, but even that version did not contain a glossary of these words :(
RATING - 4.5/5 - COMPLETED - 1/10/09
WHERE FROM: MY STACKS