In 1986, Sikander is a seventeen year-old Pakistani who dreams of going to America to study and live. But his plans are crushed when he flees his home after a disagreement with his family, which leads him to join a band of mujahideen warriors who are fighting Soviets in Afghanistan. After two years away, the mujahideen prevail, and Sikander decides to return to Pakistan and make a life for himself. Here he falls in love with and marries an Afghan woman while running a successful business. But following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in America, turmoil ensues in the Middle East, and Sikander must help his wife's family flee from Afghanistan to Pakistan, a dangerous trek that ends in Sikander's capture, torture, and imprisonment by U.S. Forces. The land he's always dreamed of is now a painful scarring nightmare that he may not survive.Review:
M. Salahuddin Khan's first novel is a remarkable coming-of-age journey full of rich detail and remarkable characters. I wasn't sure what to expect when I first received it, but after a few chapters, I knew that I was reading an amazingly crafted and emotionally charged novel. The characters are realistic and well-developed, seemingly taking on a life of their own through the well-written dialogue. The details are vivid and captivating, allowing the reader to experience the Middle East as beautiful one moment and war-torn the next. The plot flows nicely and is very solid, never losing ground and keeping up the fast-pace. The style reminded me of The Kite Runner, another excellent book, and I recommend both to adults interested in the Middle East, biographical historical fiction, or those who just want to read excellent stories about life's journey.
Rating: Clean Getaway (5/5)