itpdx's Reviews > The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
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's review
May 19, 12

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bookshelves: lwv-book-group, non-fiction
Read from May 04 to 19, 2012

This is a warm, positive book about a family of young women who find a way to survive and, even, thrive, and help their neighbors during the Taliban rule of Kabul. The family is a mother and father, two brothers and five sisters (one married and a mother). The younger sisters are attending school with ambitions to higher education and careers when the Taliban arrive. The father is retired military and feels that his presence is a danger to the family and so goes to his home town which is in the area controlled by the Northern Alliance. The oldest brother also leaves the country for safety reasons leaving the girls and youngest brother at home in Kabul.
I really appreciated the daily detail that often gets left out of news stories. What it was like to go from freely moving about the city with a scarf to having to find burqas, having girls excluded from schools, having to only leave the house with a brother in attendance and having to watch over your shoulder when conversing with a male shop owner.
I felt that the author, who is a business journalist and has an MBA, sort of glossed over the economic questions, for instance, who were buying all the women's clothes that the women were making in a city facing starvation.

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