The Blind Man's Garden

The Blind Man's Garden

Book - 2013
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The acclaimed author of The Wasted Vigil now gives us a searing, exquisitely written novel set in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the months following 9/11: a story of war, of one family's losses, and of the simplest, most enduring human impulses.

Jeo and Mikal are foster brothers from a small town in Pakistan. Though they were inseparable as children, their adult lives have diverged: Jeo is a dedicated medical student, married a year; Mikal has been a vagabond since he was fifteen, in love with a woman he can't have. But when Jeo decides to sneak across the border into Afghanistan--not to fight with the Taliban against the Americans, rather to help care for wounded civilians--Mikal determines to go with him, to protect him.

Yet Jeo's and Mikal's good intentions cannot keep them out of harm's way. As the narrative takes us from the wilds of Afghanistan to the heart of the family left behind--their blind father, haunted by the death of his wife and by the mistakes he may have made in the name of Islam and nationhood; Mikal's beloved brother and sister-in-law; Jeo's wife, whose increasing resolve helps keep the household running, and her superstitious mother--we see all of these lives upended by the turmoil of war.

In language as lyrical as it is piercing, in scenes at once beautiful and harrowing, The Blind Man's Garden unflinchingly describes a crucially contemporary yet timeless world in which the line between enemy and ally is indistinct, and where the desire to return home burns brightest of all.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2013.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780307961716
0307961710
Characteristics: 367 p. ; 25 cm.

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maryloiskoler
Feb 14, 2017

This is a beautiful novel taking place in modern Pakistan. The author's portrayal of the characters is one of the best that I have read. Each characters has their flaws and yet at the same time they are extremely appealing. This book gave me a new view of the American invasion of the middle east.

g
gloryb
Sep 03, 2015

Good book for either male or female readers. I particularly enjoyed the writing style. The novel has elements of several genres like multicultural, adventure, thriller, and romance. I found the details of everyday life of the characters to be eyeopening. Just how factual, however, is it of life in a small islamic village in Pakistan? I would read another book by Aslam, an award winning British author.

r
ralphdyer
Oct 08, 2013

Another very good book about life in Afghanistan written from the perspective of individuals caught up in the internal, seemingly never ending conflict. Provides some sense of what it might be like to be a partisan to the conflict and having to deal with foreign soldiers in your country. The ending was somewhat ambiguous; but, I chose to believe that it ended well - because I needed to, after all the disapointments and hardships endured by the principal characters. Well written.

u
uncommonreader
Aug 26, 2013

Aslam is a wonderfully poetic author. This book, set in the months after 9/11, is about war, brutality, and torture, but also about beauty.

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