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Farishta Hardcover – June 2, 2011
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"Combining the emotional insight of "Three Cups of Tea" with the narrative intensity of a Jason Bourne story, "Farishta" is the gripping story of a female US diplomat living and working in Afghanistan. Met with open hostility not only by the Afghan males, but also within her own all-male mission team, over the course of her year there, she has to overcomes their antagonism and confront real danger and tragedy."
-Valerie Plame Wilson, author of the "New York Times"-bestselling "Fair Game"
""Farishta" opens a window into the challenging life of a diplomat. Patricia McArdle accurately portrays life in the northern regions of Afghanistan. Her written wealth of knowledge and experiences enhances the reader's ability to understand and appreciate a complex career and multifaceted culture. "Farishta" is an outstanding read!"
-Deborah Rodriguez, author of the "New York Times"-bestselling "Kabul Beauty School" and "A Cup of Friendship"
""Farishta," Patricia McArdle's first novel, is a compelling and readable book about the challenges faced by soldiers and civilians stationed in Afghanistan-the constant fear of attack; the unforgiving landscape; the hostile and often corrupt warlords; the uncertain loyalties of Afghan colleagues; the efficacy of their mission; and the constant isolation. . . . But this book is more than a book about one woman and her desire to help Afghans find their own way. It is a well told story of the daily dangers that Angela and her male colleagues face, the trauma that can accompany their work, and the difficulty they have reentering society."
-"The Huffington Post"
"Combining the emotional insight of "Three Cups of Tea" with the narrative intensity of a Jason Bourne story, "Farishta" is the gripping story of a female US diplomat living and working in Afghanistan. Met with open hostility not only by the Afghan males, but also within her own all-male mission team, over the courseh --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Patricia McArdle is a retired American diplomat. During her career, she was posted around the world, including northern Afghanistan.
Top customer reviews
So many scenes and ideas in Farishta have come back to me since reading the book, especially with Afghanistan a continuing issue in the news. I wonder how Afghanistan will re-set when the American presence is lessened, and whether a decade of freedom from Taliban rule will have a lasting influence on politics and culture. The book makes me wonder what will become of the Western-style infrastructure "improvements" that can not be sustained, and whether appropriate technologies (such as solar cooking, which Farishta advances) will ever be formally advocated in foreign aid programs to Afghanistan and other countries that have chopped down and consumed everything that will burn. I didn't really think about these problems until I read the book. And I like anything that gets my brain working like this.
She finds herself the only woman posted to a British Army outpost in Mazar-i-Sharif. One of the interpreters is suspect and she has to keep her skill in Dari a dark secret until she can find out who is undermining the allied efforts of reconstruction.
This book is fascinating because of its inside knowledge of how the US State Department works. It also advocates sustainable development. Noting that the countryside has been denuded of trees and that the children are sent to find fuel for the cooking fires, the author remembered making a solar oven in her Girl Scouting days. This novel tells the true story of how she introduced this concept to the Afghans as a means of making a real improvement in their lives.
In this respect, FARISHTA resembles THE UGLY AMERICAN, a 1958 attack on American policies in Southeast Asia. It's so sad that so little has been learned since then and that so much money has been wasted on "reconstruction" that will not long survive the American presence in Afghanistan.
The author has a dual purpose for this book. She wants to make her point about policy in Afghanistan but she also wants to tell an affecting story about a woman in a foreign land, facing and fighting her personal demons. I think she makes her point well and the story of Angela gripped me. Some elements of romance were predictable, but that's only a small complaint in an otherwise excellent novel. Should be required reading for the movers and shakers. Highly recommended!
Patricia is willing to meet with other book clubs by Skype, phone, or in person if you're close to her geographically, and our book club highly recommends that others pursue this option. Beyond the book itself, we were impressed to learn that she continues to live out her passion for solar ovens, serving on the board of Solar Cookers International and traveling around the world to educate others about solar cooking. In addition, she is an advocate for straw bale building and other ways of building affordable and environmentally friendly housing.
Our group enjoyed reading and discussing the book and is hoping that it won't be too long before Patricia writes a second book!
Most recent customer reviews
I really enjoyed this book, not knowing exactly what kind of story it would tell.Read more