Marganna (Midland, TX) (Edmonds WA)
A Golden Age: Tahmima Anam
From the first sentence I knew this story was going to capture my attention. Since I have very little knowledge of this part of the world, culture and the struggles of the people, the story kindled a desire to learn more history of Bangladesh, the War for Independence and the people. The story is told from a mother’s point of view; a story of a woman’s loss, courage, love, longing, determination, the will to survive and see her children live through a war destroying her country. The story is woven delicately and simply but is filled with meaning and feelings. I especially liked the writing style and the characterization of each person. I cared for the characters and could understand the situation they were confronting in their lives. I praise Tahmima Anam accomplishments on a beautifully written first novel. It is a book I’ll recommend to my book clubs, friends, and look forward to future novels by the author.
Mercedes (Cross River NY)
A Golden Age by Tahimima Anam
A Golden Age is an eye opening account of a time and place in history that I knew nothing about - Bangladesh's war of independence from Pakistan in the 1970's, Ms Anam has vividly captured the flavor and atmosphere of the general public at the time through the eyes of the main character and her family. This book conveys the deep divides that existed culturally and historically at that time as well as the triumph of the human spirit and gives an understanding and appreciation for the country of Bangladesh.
Barbara (Hilton Head SC)
A Golden Age
This is historical fiction at it's best; I knew very little about the Bangladesh war for independence before reading it. This is Tahmima Anam's first novel, but hopefully not her last. She writes beautifully with vivid, poetic descriptions. All mothers who read this book will understand the courage, faith, and love for her children shown by the main character, Rehana.
Since Pakistan is in the news so much, this book really sharpens the reader's understanding of the complex religious and political problems in that region of the world. I could not put it down; I stayed up until 2AM reading it, and finished it the next morning.
Maryanne (Spanaway WA)
A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam
I didn't expect to like this book nearly as much as I did. Tahmima Anam has created a main character that one cannot help but care for; Rehana has stayed with me since I finished reading the book several days ago. The setting of the book, the Bangladesh War of Independence, brings to life events of which I was only vaguely aware while they were happening. This is a book that I will want to read again.
Lori (La Porte IN)
A Tale of a Mother's Love
It took me a while to get into this book, but once I did I became immersed in it. This beautiful story of a mother and her children really resonated with me. The lengths that Rehana will go to in order to protect her children, and how far she will venture from her comfort zone in order to do so, is a testament to the love that parents have for their children. This love is mirrored in her children's and eventually her love for the newly formed Bangladesh. A beautiful, sad tale of love and war and the lengths to which people will go for what is foremost in their hearts.
Christine (Centerport NY)
A Powerful New Author
A grieving young widow, Rehana, loses her small children to her brother-in-law after the death of her husband due to jealousy, position, and power. This event permeates through the rest of the story as their mother tries to make peace with the past and heal this wound. They leave Bangladesh for the safety of Lahore and she vows to get them back, only to plunge them into a perilous war as they come of age in a country that their mother loves and they feel compelled to defend. Written with subtle exquisite prose and very real characters, Rehana’s love for her children and her country make for a heart wrenching tale of choice, destiny, and the affairs of the maternal heart. Ms. Anam gives voice to a widow’s love for her country and her late husband, the perils of war, and words left unsaid. She speaks eloquently of the depth of a mother’s love for her children and where the tragic path of that love will lead them.
Vicky (Torrance CA)
A Golden Age
While reading A Golden Age I kept making mental comparisons to what I read in the newspapers about the current war in Iraq - religious intolerance, cultural misunderstanding and families damaged by violence. I was very unfamiliar with any history of Bangladesh so I enjoyed learning about this part of the world as well as the story about Rehana, her family and her neighbors at this time in history. After finishing the book I went on line to learn more about Bangladesh and Pakistan.
I would recommend this book for book clubs since there are a number of issues and challenges the different characters face that book club members may not all agree with, creating great topics for discussion.