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The Afghan Wife. Cindy Davis.

April 17, 2018

The Afghan Wife

The Afghan Wife, by Cindy Davis. Odyssey Books, 2017

3 stars

A predictable story of violence and romance set in the chaos of the Iranian Revolution.

Cindy Davis was born in the United Kingdom and then moved with her family to Australia.  She has worked at various jobs, including two-years of teaching and acting as a tour guide in Turkey.  Her long-term interest in the Middle East is revealed in the research she has done for this, her first novel.

Zahra is an Afghan woman, married to a very abusive husband.  For some mysterious reason, her cousin, Firzun, involves her, her husband, and her son in an escape to Iran.   After the death of her husband, Zahra distrusts Firzun.  Is he a freedom fighter, a drug smuggler, or both?   Unsure of her future, Zahra takes a job as a companion of an elderly woman, the grandmother of Karim, a dashing young man she had met briefly and fallen in love with in the past.  But the path of love is never easy.

Davis keeps the plot moving and inserts some interesting aspects of her characters. For example, I was interested in how intensely guilty and humiliated Zahra was about the way her husband beat her.  She seems to believe that his violence was her fault.  That is an interesting observation about how some women react to abuse. But generally the characters in the book are not well-developed, and the plot hinges on the power of love at first sight rather than any other reasons for attraction. Overall this is a story of a helpless woman saved by a rich and handsome man.

This is not the kind of book that I usually read.  Perhaps my impatience with it has more to do with the limitations of the genre rather than Davis’s writing.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 28, 2018 1:54 am

    It sounds like one of those books where an outsider to the culture has based a book around a whole lot of shallow assumptions…

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