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Good read for a sick day
on June 19, 2012
Home sick from work and spent the day reading this book. I found the story from 1923 infinitely more compelling than the present day story and the rapid switches back and forth jarring. I would have liked to spend more time in each environment and time before jumping back to the other. Though I appreciated the political themes and perspectives woven through the narrative of Frieda and Tayeb, both of them seemed more like archetypes than complex, fully realized characaters. The supporting characters in Frieda's narrative--her lover and parents--were virtual parodies. I could almost visualize the author sneering as she wrote them.
In contrast, the saga of the three women's journey to Kashgar in 1923 and Eva's journey beyond was thoroughly engaging, with a vivid sense of place and culture of the period. Overall, I appreciate a writer who addresses the theme of colonialism in an intelligent and accessible way.