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Born Under a Million Shadows by [Busfield, Andrea]
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Born Under a Million Shadows Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews

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Length: 386 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

"This beautifully told tale will capture the reader's heart...powerful and moving" (The Sun)

"Beautifully written, touching and laced with humour, it's a stunningly assured debut from a writer who looks set to be a big star" (News of the World)

Review

Beautifully written, touching and laced with humour, it's a stunningly assured debut.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 669 KB
  • Print Length: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (23 April 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031RSALA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,876 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a pleasure to read. Combining the foreign characters with the locals is very well done, and is true to the actual reality. The statements that Fawad comes out with, and his exchanges with the local shop owner is so very amusing. Born Under a Million Shadows is about the day to day life of Afghans, and Ms Busfield demonstrates that she truly understands the culture and family traits. The story line is delightful despite the shadow of sorrow, and it was enjoyable to read a book about real people "on the floor" with only minimal politics to help set the "scene".

I greatly look forward to the release of Ms. Busfield's second book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book, easy to get into and hard to put down. The news we hear of Afghanistan, full of military operations, casualties, opium harvests and fraudulent elections, makes it hard to imagine growing up there. Andrea Busfield achieves this on our behalf. Her narrator an eleven - or perhaps twelve - year old boy opens with: "My name is Fawad and my mother tells me I was born under the shadow of the Taliban."

Taking this literally he thinks of her, `stepping out of the sunshine and into the dark', and this child's way of seeing the puzzling world around him sets the tone. We encounter the horrors and hardships through his innocent eyes and although he speaks of his fear and his sadness there is also humour and joy.

At the start of the book Fawad's father and brother have been killed, his sister abducted and their home burnt down. They live without welcome or comfort with his aunt and young cousins who beg from and hustle foreigners. Life improves overnight when Farad's mother gets a position as housekeeper to three foreigners living in a wealthy suburb of Kabul. Georgie, James and May are all trying to improve life for local people while sorting out their own problems and destinies, struggles viewed by Fawad with a wonderful mixture of sympathy, insight and perplexity.

Fawad is a Muslim and it is one of the strengths of this book that it portrays the acceptance of his own religion and a respect for the cultural Christianity of his employers as a fact of everyday life.

Although life is briefly peaceful after the move things don't stand still and the story unfolds with drama and tragedy but enough of a happy ending to leave the reader feeling uplifted and hopeful.
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Format: Paperback
Fawad is an 11 year old boy living in Kabul after the fall of the Taliban. Having lost his father, brother and sister, he lives with his mother, Mariya, who works as a servant for three westerners sharing a house. Fawad becomes close to Georgie, May and James, even if their non-Muslim ways (they drink alcohol, one reads pornography and one is a lesbian) sometimes shock him. Nevertheless, Fawad is drawn into their lives and becomes especially close to Georgie, who is having a relationship with a high profile Afghan warlord. The book takes place over the course of a year, and Fawad's experiences reflect many of the realities of living in Afganistan today.

It's a very interesting setting for a novel and I learned a lot about Afghanistan. However I felt that the plot was somewhat aimless. It's an easy book to read, but I never felt particularly caught up in it, until the end when I realised how fond I had got of the characters. I felt that the choice to use a child as narrator meant that we never really got to understand what the adults - particularly Mariya and Georgie - were thinking and going through. It's hard not to compare it to The Kite Runner - while it's equally readable, it lacks the punch of that novel. It's humorous in parts and tragic in others. I'd describe it as perfectly okay, but not a standout for me.
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Format: Paperback
I have read many books about Afghanistan and wasnt sure that this one would offer a new perspective to the tragic ones i have read so far .. I was wrong. This story manages to be a tragic, sad and despairing story full of hope, joy, laughter and the wonder of the human spirit. It is a short story, told from the persepctive of a poor, Fatherless Afghani boy who lives with his loving but strict Mother (alone now that his father and brother are dead and his sister was kidnapped). They find their lives change dramatically as their mother becomes house keeper to 3 westerners and they move in with them. One is 'Georgia' a beautiful and kind woman who is in love with a wealthy 'drugs barren', one is 'May' a lesbian who rarely has much to smile about and the other is 'James' a journalist who loves to drink and sleep. The lives of these and other characters (including a blind shopkeeper, a cheeky card seller and a love struck security guard) become intertwined in a sweet tale of love and friendship.
This is a heart warming tale and gives a unique viewpoint on Afghanistan and the people who call this place home.
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Format: Paperback
Afghanistan has produced some wonderful writing in English since Byron's Road to Oxiana, at least. Recently, Khaled Hosseini put it on the fictional map with the Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Andrea Busfield has equalled his achievement with this book. The really clever thing is that she has told it through the eyes of an young street child and created a narrative voice that is utterly original and completely compelling. The story itelf is also gripping - i read it in one sitting! As a resident of Kabul, I can vouch for the accurate detail and completely convincing characters through which this weird but wonderful city is brought alive
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