Farishta

Patricia McArdle. Riverhead, $25.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-59448-796-5
With its shades of A Bell for Adano, McArdle's debut—winner of the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award—is a quietly devastating novel about an American trying to do good in a foreign land, but finding that best intentions are not always enough to overcome bureaucracy and entrenched folkways. Twenty-two years after her husband was killed and she was injured and lost her unborn baby in the 1983 Beirut embassy bombing, Angela Morgan sees her Foreign Service career at a dead end until she's sent to a remote British army outpost in northern Afghanistan. She finds herself, as an American, at odds with her British counterparts, and, as a woman, at odds with the culture's attitude toward her gender. In the course of secretly trying to help the locals (and gaining the name Farishta—Dari for angel), Angela begins two touching relationship; one with Rahim, her translator, who, at 23, reminds her of the son she never had; the other with Maj. Mark Davies, a handsome British intelligence officer. Events conspire to force Angela to choose between public service and personal happiness. Based on her experiences as a Foreign Service officer in Afghanistan, McArdle writes insightfully about the quagmire in that country and the human cost of war. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/11/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
Paperback - 406 pages - 978-1-59448-578-7
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-101-50591-5
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-101-51531-0
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