Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A Golden Age, A Novel by Tahmima Anam

" A Golden Age is an historical fiction novel you will not soon forget!"

A book about a far off land, a war, and a widow... I was certainly expecting a thrilling, suspenseful, maybe even adventurous novel through the sights and sounds of east Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
In contrast, even though this is a very short novel, the author seemed almost afraid to delve into creating a page-turning brutal war novel. This felt like a slow read through the highlights of Rehana Haque's life. Further development of the sights and sounds of this first novel by Tahmima Anam would have taken the reader further into Rehana's world. In doing so, Tahmima Anam could have created a beautiful, vivid landscape set against the pain and stress of war. I really think she missed a great opportunity in this.

Also, other than Rehana Haque's character, the other characters are only mildly developed, leaving the reader wanting to know more. I commend the author however for her storyline, I think this would make a very incredible screenplay. I felt the story itself is truly worthy of a voice, and this book was on a must read list. I was unfamiliar with this historical war, the Independence War of Bangladesh, and the author did a wonderful job of bringing this story to the novel reading public.

If you enjoy historical novels, or are looking for a quick read, this book might interest you. The last 1/4 of the book is fantastic, where author Tahmima Anam really shows her talent for the pen. I would have liked to have seen an included glossary, as many terms are thrown around as if they are English, and nothing will disrupt a novel like going to your dictionary to look up a word. For reading flow, it would have been nice to include that, as well as a pronunciation guide to the names. Those things would have helped the reader to connect more closely to the story. I hope to see many more books by Tahmima Anam, she is a truly promising young author.
I should note that this book would be excellent college reading. It's short enough and has passages subject to interpretation.


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