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A Golden Age

A Golden Age

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Throwing in some bengali words like 'roshogolla' will not turn a novel into a cultural fiction - for that a certain soul is required. The struggle to relate intensifies as the tension in East Pakistan increased and then the war starts and their passion for Bengali leads to their involvement and support for the war. Her life centres around her household, and that remains true even when revolution breaks out and she finds herself sheltering freedom fighters. This book must have put it on people's radar, and maybe inspired them to get to know about our nation a little better.

Rehana is a wonderful character, loving but flawed, and gifted with depths and strengths I would never have expected in the early part of the the book. Veering between indulgence and censure, 'there was a part of her that wanted to allow her children anything - any whimsy, any zeal, any excess', while 'another part of her wanted them to have nothing to do with it all, to keep them safe at home'. The book ends 16 December 1971, the day that the treaty is signed and Bangladesh gained their independence.In 2022, the novel was included on the " Big Jubilee Read" list of 70 books by Commonwealth authors, selected to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II. Although Rehana and her children love poetry, the text doesn't seem infused with it, and the style of narrative structure is conventionally linear and climactic. It is an old-fashioned yarn of family love triumphing over adversity, then being further tried by the murky oppressions of rebellion and war, with a good twist to the ending.

However, the writing, although more than proficient, and often very beautiful, wasn’t transporting enough to raise this book above a 3 star read for me. And lastly and maybe most hilarious, the ease with which the Mukti Bahini went around in trucks to carry arms for their guerilla missions against Pakistan. Every year,' Rehana observes, 'the land will turn to sea as it disappears under the spell of water, and then prevail again, as if by magic, and this refrain, this looping repetition, is the archive of its long, flood-turned history. I have done quite a bit of reading this year on India and the subcontinent, both fiction and non-fiction, so the many untranslated phrases, names of foods, items of clothing, prayer times and rituals, etc, were all quite familiar to me, but for the uninitiated a glossary would have been helpful. In 1971, Rehana's children, Maya and Sohail are now university students and back living with their mother after she discovered a way of becoming financially independent without having to remarry.I'm making it my off-duty duty to experience FIVE books, FIVE films, art, TV, music and food from every country in the world (where feasible). I need a novel, or at least a memoir, a personal story that I can feel along with, to absorb even the simplest information about past events. Sadly, I don’t know enough about the historical events to comment on the historical accuracy, but Anam tells an engaging story. In her fierce love and desperate need to keep them safe, she is willing to consider some unholy alliances and has to make difficult choices. Set against the backdrop of the Bangladesh War of Independence, 'A Golden Age' is a story of passion and revolution, of hope, faith, and unexpected heroism.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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