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A Golden Age

by Tahmima Anam

A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam X
A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2008, 288 pages
    Jan 2009, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Stacey Brownlie

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There are currently 15 reader reviews for A Golden Age
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Amanda N. (03/20/10)

One family's struggle in 1970s Bangladesh
Meet Rehana Haque. A widowed mother of two in 1970s East Pakistan, Rehana would do anything for her children. Shortly after her husband's death, Rehana allowed her brother-in-law to take custody of her two children for a year, and she never lets herself forget it. She is a devoted mother, perhaps to a fault, and the unchanging love of a mother for her children is at the forefront of this novel about the war for Bangladesh's independence.

This novel starts out strong, but without a baseline knowledge of the Bangladesh War for Independence, the reader could easily feel a little lost. Also, I had a very hard time making a connection with Rehana's two children, Sohail and Maya. I found that I didn't really care what happened to the characters in the novel.

Luckily, the second half of the novel takes on a suspenseful edge as the war and the Haque family's involvement in the resistance increases. The last chapters are page turners indeed, and makes this book worth reading.
Mercedes (01/09/09)

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.
Marganna (01/09/09)

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.
Power Reviewer
Kim (03/14/08)

A Golden Age
A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam, is set during the Bangladesh War of Liberation. The protagonist, Rehana Haque, is just an average mother. Her interests revolve around her children's and her friends. She's got no interest in politics, and is taken completely by surprise when Pakistani troops occupy her city to quell the local revolt. Although Anam intersperses chilling, sometimes horrific details of life under Pakistani occupation throughout her tale, the main theme is about Rehana simply doing what she can to support and protect her two teenagers during this dangerous time. This is an absorbing book with an ending that will stick with the reader for many days.
Barbara (02/07/08)

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 (02/07/08)

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.
Dayna (01/26/08)

I simply could not put this book down. The lyrical and beautiful writing make you feel sympathetic towards the characters. It's about a mother's love during the 1971 Bangladesh war.
Vicky (01/26/08)

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.
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