Sunday, 24 June 2012

The Taliban Cricket Club

Finished June 23
The Taliban Cricket Club by Timeri N Murari

This novel is centered around Rukhsana, a young woman living with her mother and younger brother in Kabul. When she started university, her father was sent to a diplomatic post in Delhi and she took her degree there, getting a taste of the outside world and meeting a young man she has strong feelings for. But she was promised to another and dutifully went home and found a job as a journalist.
But then the Taliban came to power and she lost her job. When her family was planning to leave, her father and grandparents were killed in an accident, and Rukhsana resigned herself to waiting for a better life. She writes articles for international publications under a pseudonym and waits to join her betrothed in the United States.
But then two things happen. First the government announces an upcoming tournament for cricket. The winners will go to Pakistan for training and then will represent Afghanistan internationally. Since Rukhsana played at university, and this seems a great opportunity to leave the country, she begins to train her brother and cousins to play in the tournament. Second, the Talib Wahidi, who she has run into before as a journalist, has now demanded her as his new wife. Her family will certainly suffer if she doesn't submit to his will.
As Rukhsana hides from Wahidi and his brother, she also continues to train her cousins, determined to make the most of this opportunity and find a way through smugglers to meet them outside the country.
Giving a view into the lives people live under Taliban power, and how those who are determined find ways to circumvent the limitations on their lives when they can, we see how the strong-spirited woman Rukhsana has become pushes past her fear to do what she needs to for herself and her family. This book has humour, romance, and interesting characters. We see the importance of family loyalty and the trust that needs to be given in situations where it really could be life or death.
A great read.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds so good, I'm always interested in the lives of women in countries we know so little about. Thanks for your review.