Adventures in Reading

Tahmima Anam’s A Golden Age
November 20, 2007, 4:01 pm
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“Dear Husband,
I lost our children today.”

Despite the bountiful amount of advanced reading copies (ARC) available to me, I seldom actually readthem. Pick them up and hoarde them like a dragon with treasure: yes, but to actually readthem is a different matter. This is in part a result of the lousy selection I usually have available. However, a few weeks ago the beautiful cover of Tahmima Anam’s A Golden Age peaked out at me from the shelf, and I not only took it home but I read it too.

A Golden Age is the first novel in a three part series of the Haque family. Set in East Pakistan in 1971, Anam delivers a sensational and moving story that takes the family through the Bangladesh War of Independence. Rehana, the mother, is originally from Calcutta but finds herself swept up in the politics of the country when her son Sohail and her daughter Maya become involved in the resistance. As a result of the story’s point of view (Rehana’s) and Anam’s phenomenal writing this is unlike many other war stories. Rehana is a mother who will sacrifice anything for her children and the story is told through the tender voice and hand of a very passionate woman.

I am very excited about this book. I am not if I can put it any other way. Many of the recent releases I have read leave me indifferent or unsatisifed. But Anam has delivered an emotional and political tale of family life that is both moving and absorbing. This is only the first book in a trilogy, but I will say that the A Golden Age could end at the close of the Bangladesh War of Independence and leave the reader pleased. It will be interesting to see where Anam takes her characters and story in the following books.

My only frustration with the book: all of Anam’s descriptions of delicious and spicey foods left my mouth watering. A Golden Age is already released in some places outside of the United States, but here it is marked to come out some time between December and January. Definitely keep your eye out if you are looking for a terrific read as this was one book I could not put down.

Also reviewed by A Girl Walks Into a Bookstore…


I cannot agree with you more. I loved this book and was oved to tears on occasion. I now feel I know much more about this period in India/Pakistan history than I knew before !!

Comment by Baban

I am thrilled there is another fan of Anam! Now that the book has come out (and I see it almost daily) I am even more expectant of the next in the trilogy.

Comment by bookchronicle

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