Five stars with a flaw. Many of the other reviews will give you a synopsis, so I'll skip that. A Golden Age reminds me a bit of Tolstoy or Chekhov in that we are aware, and even privy to great events, but our focus is on the individuals rather than the events. That point of focus allows the humanity of the participants to shine through from their smaller stages, rather than the great stages of revolution or war. A Golden Age takes us into families, and households to show us daily life in a time of struggle, but also into jails, refugee camps, and revolutionary cells to give us a feel of life in extremis. The author, Tahmima Anam has a sure touch for the human heart, and is capable of not only lucid prose, but sudden poetry that illuminates the moment. The flaw of this book is that the lives chronicled were lived in relative comfort, and though the means of support is given, it hardly seems to be enough to have sustained. I'm not saying this was not possible, but where did the money come from to allow it to be so comfortable? I understand this is book one of a proposed trilogy, and I'm looking forward to the continuation.
Boring, plodding prose and poor characterization, except for maybe Rehana, the main character, undermine this otherwise decent story. The story is set in the early 1970's and revolves around Rehana, a widow who lost her children after her husband died for lack of resources to care for them, and the regained them back. Her children, while in college, become involved in the East Pakistan political movement that eventually leads to the civil war and breaking off and formation of a new country, Bangladesh. … more
In East Pakistan in 1971, Rehana Haque is celebrating the anniversary of her children's return, the guns of war sounding on the horizon, the coming independence of Bangladesh as yet a dream in the minds of revolutionaries. But Rehana has restricted her needs and dreams to her household, to the lives of her children, seventeen-year-old Maya and nineteen-year old Sohail. Soon after the death of Rehana's husband, the children were removed from her home by her brother-in-law until such time as the mother … more