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Veiled Freedom by Jeanette Windle

Link for the book:

Author's website:

432 pages, published in 2009

This book was bought by me for the purpose of reading/reviewing.

The book begins in November 2001-- Kabul, Afghanistan. The American military is looking for al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Afghanistan is a country that has been under the Taliban rule, and now has American military working to eradicate these groups that are a threat to the American nation. The story then moves to the present day, a young woman named Amy has just arrived to be in charge with starting a center for women and children. Amy is an educated women, a world traveler, she has done field work in other foreign countries, but she has never been in a Muslim country or a war. She is naive in believing that she can continue to adapt her culture to this culture. She learns quickly that safety and compliance is necessary. A Special Forces veteran named Steve returns to Afghanistan to work security contract work. A third character in the book, Jamil is a native of this country, but he has returned recently and is trying to find work.
The three characters will have a dramatic confluence.
I was amazed at the accuracy of the book, and the education that I received in reading this book. The book tells the story of how a woman in a Muslim country and under the Taliban rule live. There are strict rules of how they should act, where they can go and with whom they go with, how they dress and the parts of their bodies that are to be covered. Women are possessions and with no rights. The book tells of the acrid poverty and the victims that have no voice.
Amy is a picture of selfless and sacrificial love. When I was first introduced to her in this story I flinched in worrying about her lack of protocol that was for her safety. She wised up quickly and was dedicated and committed to her assignment.
Steve in his hard shell covering his emotions is typical of a combat veteran. He is professional, stoic, wise, and intuitive. He has experience in a country that is in the turmoil of war and has been for a long time.
Jamil was a confusion for me, his culture is so polar from mine. I wondered where the story would end with him.
Each of these characters add energy and depth to the book. They are real, raw, and painful at times to read.
The plot and scope of the story is in some ways not hard to figure out, we are all aware of the bombings and killings in Afghanistan. We are aware of the frailty of life in this country. Yet it is so far away from American life, the culture so far removed from us. What was unpredictable was the choice that would be ultimately made in the end.
I loved this book because it got my head out of the American-style-history-type book. Most of all I learned in this story Amy's mission of selfless love.

Blissful Reading!


Mark said…
awesome book, I loved it
Eesti said…
This kind of novel is not my usual reading fare, but I wanted to branch out a bit, so decided that Veiled Freedom looked like a good choice. I was not wrong. Nor was I disappointed.
The novel is told from three distinct points of view, flowing nicely and not at all confusing. This gives the reader the chance to discover just who the main characters are and what motivates them. Though the identity of the third person is not revealed until well into the book, the reader does glean a good sense of who he might be.