Born Under A Million Shadows

Born Under A Million Shadows

A Novel

Book - 2009
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A moving tale of the triumph of the human spirit amidst heartbreaking tragedy, told through the eyes of a charming, impish, and wickedly observant Afghan boy

The Taliban have withdrawn from Kabul's streets, but the long shadows of their regime remain. In his short life, eleven-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 parsimonious relatives to eke out a hand-to-mouth existence.
Ever the optimist, Fawad hopes for a better life, and his dream is realized when Mariya finds a position as a housekeeper for a charismatic Western woman, Georgie, and her two foreign friends. The world of aid workers and journalists is a new one for Fawad, and living with the trio offers endless curiosities--including Georgie's destructive relationship with the powerful Afghan warlord Haji Khan, whose exploits are legendary. Fawad grows resentful and worried, until he comes to learn that love can move a man to act in surprisingly good ways. But life, especially in Kabul, is never without peril, and the next calamity Fawad must face is so devastating that it threatens to destroy the one thing he thought he could never lose: his love for his country.

A big-hearted novel infused with crackling wit, Andrea Busfield's brilliant debut captures the hope and humanity of the Afghan people and the foreigners who live among them.

Publisher: New York : H. Holt, 2009.
ISBN: 9780805090611
Characteristics: 292, 18 p. ;,21 cm.


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Mar 22, 2017

Young Fawad and his mother Mariya are all that are left of their family as both they and Afganistan recover from Taliban rule. When Mariya is offered a housekeeping position, they both move in with a motley "family" of westerners in Kabul: sweet Georgie, a British woman whose Afghan occupation is "combing goats"; James, a journalist fond of drink and women; and May, an American engineer. When he isn't in school or running errands for the neighborhood shopkeeper, Fawad spends his free time observing, studying these three new friends. Attempting to reconcile their unfamiliar habits and philosophies with his own world is not easy, but his life has certainly become more interesting!

At once a charming and heartbreaking, but also hopeful, story. By the middle of the book, Fawad and his mother felt like treasured friends to this reader. As other reviewers have mentioned, the ending is a bit pat and not a little disturbing.

Jan 17, 2012

Great book.Readers really get to see everything through Fawad`s eyes. Andrea Busfield has the potential of Rohin Mistry and other great authors

Dec 27, 2011

In this novel East meets West, as little Fawad goes to live in a British household. I enjoyed the shock of cultures, Fawad's impressions and reactions, the details in relationships between men and women, foreigners and locals. I found difficult the dissonance in the book: oftentimes it is told through the eyes of a ten year-old, but sometimes the author (a journalist) cannot help but intervene and give a political and historical account of Afghan events, and other times yet, the love story between Georgie and Khalid seems to mature and complicated to be understood by a boy, however mature he might be. I found those sequences jarring in an otherwise well written and thoughtful book. Although I might warn potential reader, that the ending is very corny - too bad because the mix of drama, hope, laughter and terror is well balanced all throughout.

Jul 21, 2011

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and read it in just a few days. Worth recommending

Jul 14, 2010

One of the best books that I've read in years, absolutely charming and very very well written.

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