Sunday, 14 June 2009

26. Andrea Busfield - Born Under a Million Shadows

The cover of this book reminds me strongly of The Kite Runner but the story it tells is different. Ms Busfield’s is a grittier Afghanistan, seen through the eyes of Fawad – an 11 year old boy whose family is scarred forever by the Taliban. Fortune smiles on Fawad and his mother, however, when she finds work as a housekeeper for an Englishwoman named Georgie and with whom Fawad promptly falls in love.

This is much more than a romance novel, however. Ms Busfield’s characters often adopt the tone of lecturers as Fawad and the reader learn more about Afghanistan. At first, I found this rather irritating – if I’d wanted to read non-fiction I would have done so – but I was soon so immersed in the lives presented to me that the pages turned easily and I’m sorry now to have finished and to be leaving them behind. Ms Busfield has tied up all the loose ends very neatly and without, I think, leaving herself space for a sequel but I do hope this is not the first and the last book we shall see from her.

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