“A Golden Age” Student Review 2009

The following is a student review of “A Golden Age” by Tahmima Anam.

Genre: Bangladesh revolution

Pages: 288

Reviewer: Tasnuva H.
It starts off with a single mother who has a 17 year old daughter Maya, and a nineteen year old son Sohail. She visits her late husband’s grave and talks to him spiritually about her domestic everyday life. When her kids decide they want to be involved in the war in any way, it tears her apart on the inside. Her daughter Maya becomes involved in war protests and insists on being a strong representative of the rebellion. Her son Sohail becomes an undercover guerilla with his friends and leaves his mother alone. Just as Rehana was trying to move on from her husband, her son brings back an injured major whom Rehana feels attracted to. She cares for him and attends to his medical needs. Rehana decides to support her kids’ choices and becomes interested in aiding in any way. The Bangladeshi’s win the war and Rehana and her kids show great enthusiasm.
Personally I thought this book was captivating. It probably appeals to me more than the general audience because it is about the country I am from. My grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts tells me of their experiences when the war was going on. Of course they were very young so they do not remember much. This book was really interesting reading from a mother’s perspective. It shows the struggles and hardships of that time and how it affected citizens.

1. The author’s purpose of this novel is to show the hardships during the Bangladesh Independence War.

2. Tahmima depicts the struggles of a single mother with grown kids who decide to take part in the war.. The main character Rehana Haque is a mother who is torn between her children being involved in the war because they are all she has. Her kids feel it is their duty to serve their country.  This book portrays the struggles of a single mother and how much devotion and love she has towards her kids. Even though she feels strongly against her kids being part of the rebellion, she doesn’t let that show externally. She does at first but she gives up when her kids are insistent. She decides to show them support

3.  The author develops the thesis by starting off with how due to her poverty, Rehana loses her kids to her brother-in-law and his wife. When she is reunited with them, she promises herself and her late husband that she will do all she can to support them and never abandon them again. She throws a party for them every year since they all reunited.

4. This book is about a mother’s decision against her kids being allured into being involved in a war. Her dedication to her son’s ambitions is strongly visible throughout the novel. The overall conflict is the war itself. It was tearing their family apart in different ways. This novel shows how Rehana handles situations where she might have to be the bad guy. She tries to keep her kids from being hurt by being part of war riots and protests. It kills her inside when her son decides to be an undercover


About Victoria Waddle

I'm a high school librarian, formerly an English teacher. I love to read and my mission is to connect people with the right books. To that end, I read widely--from the hi-lo for reluctant high school readers to the literary adult novel for the bibliophile.
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