Very interesting subject matter but I found the writing to be mind-numbing and perspective incredibly biased. Could have used some very heavy editing to let the cultural differences and fascinating stories shine (simply deleting the redundant phrase "I knew" from everywhere it appears in the book would shorten it by about a quarter). Worth a read but I kept wishing that it was better.
"Describes how years after her father was taken away from her family by the KGB, the Afghanistani author relocated to her uncle's home in America, where she pursued an education and worked as an interpreter before becoming a cultural adviser for the U.S. Army." From Next Reads Biography & Memoir October 2012 newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=559052
The value of this book is to understand the extremes of differences in American and Afghanistan cultures. We are such a relatively 'new' country, embracing many different cultures, and assimilating them into our own. What is hard to visualize is cultures that extend back hundreds and sometimes thousands of years. This book is a testimonial to one persons journey into that abyss. With her observations we are able to see how our government failed to understand the mid East complexity of tribes and traditions. The author brings home the torment of respecting and being brought up in one culture, but also seeing the limitations and ultimately the benefits of another. This dilemma is heightened by her attempt to find the common bridge between the two in order to bring understanding. This, often challenging her personality that defies some of the cultural requirements of her Pashtun heritage. For the value of better understanding, this book is a worthy read.
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