When the Taliban was forced out of Afghanistan in 2001, Kabul was supposed to be free. For Jamil and many others, this freedom never came. Steve Wilson is a Special Forces vet who helped rid Kabul of the Taliban. Now working in private security, he finds himself back in Afghanistan, but he has become bitter and cynical watching corruption and violence overtake the country he fought to free. Amy Mallory, on the other hand, is out to change the world. Working for a mission-minded organization, she soon realizes she will face many challenges being not only woman in Afghanistan, but a Western woman. All three of these people are looking for the truth, striving to find something to believe in.
This book is amazing. The author takes care to fully flesh out these characters so that even when we get angry with them we still feel for them. What I loved about this book is that there is no primary villain. The story deals with people both as individuals and as a larger cultural group, which is a completely honest way of looking at the world. All characters have short-comings and faults as well as admirable qualities. The line has been so clearly drawn between Islam and Christianity in today's world, and not without reason, but this novel treats both religions with understanding. It also struggles with a question I think a lot of people ask. If people don't want to help themselves, why should we help them? Can we truly change the world for the better, or is the little we do to try all in vain? After reading this novel, I feel like I've gained a little more insight into a culture I'd only ever experienced through a news camera. The only problem I had with the book was that there was a lot of technichal talk about security and such. I'm sure many who read the book will find it enlightning, but I found myself just skimming through those bits to get to the good stuff. However, it wasn't enough to distract me from the story. I look forward to reading the sequel.
I read a lot of nonfiction, particularly in the social action/justice category, so when I get around to reading fiction I normally want something light with an assured happy ending (I feel the same way about my movies). So this book was a departure for me, part thriller, part war story, part political.
Having met the author, I thought I would give it a try, and I did have to talk myself into reading the first few pages, which begin in war. But then the characters got hold of me and wouldn't let go. Windle does a great job of revealing their own indecision and confusion in a world that is not black and white. She taught me much about the political situation in Afghanistan and the conundrums facing the aid community in such areas of the world, and yet it didn't feel pedantic. The story moves quickly once the characters are established, and you care what happens to them.
I understand there's a sequel on the way, and I am looking forward to it.
This story takes place in Afghanistan. It was hard for me to get into because of the military and Afghan words throughout the story.
This is not a book to just sit down and relax with. If you are looking for a fiction book with a deeper meaning you might enjoy the book.
The story follows Special Forces veteran Steve Wilson and relief worker Amy Mallory. How they interact and deal with the happenings in Afghanistan is the story. Their interaction is written well and how they deal with the Afghanistan people and culture is interesting.
Although it took me awhile to get into the book it was an enjoyable read.
I was given this book by christianreviewofbooks.com to review.
I enjoyed reading Crossfire so much but disappointed with Veiled Freedom. I understand the circumstances happening in Kabul during the war but found it hard to make a real connection with the three main characters. The politics took center stage in the book that I felt that this book would have worked better in the non- fiction category. Kudos to Jeannette for her extensive knowledge and description of Afghanistan.