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The Afghan Wife

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  46 ratings  ·  32 reviews
During the volatile times that followed the Iranian revolution in 1979, Zahra, her husband and son are forced to leave their homeland of Afghanistan with her revolutionary activist cousin, Firzun.

Zahra's life becomes embroiled with Firzun's, as her cousin joins the violent opposition to the new regime in Iran. Complexities increase as she again meets Karim, a man she's lo
Paperback, 322 pages
Published November 25th 2017 by Odyssey Books
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  46 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Theresa Smith
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
It’s not until reading a novel such as The Afghan Wife, do I realise just how ‘western’ my reading choices usually are. I’m not sure if this is by accident or design, but it’s definitely something to ponder over. The Afghan Wife is an exceptionally good novel, complex in its story and themes, yet incredibly engaging and easy to follow – an absolute bonus when reading a story bound up with politics and war.

Set in 1979, to me this novel qualifies as historical fiction, but there are themes of love
Nov 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
A lot of tell over a show. A heroine who "reacts" to everything and drifts along the story being pulled in various directions. There's a lack of character development to the point where I never felt invested in any of these people, so didn't care what happened to them. More women's fiction than romance, the romance itself just magically "happens," isn't developed beyond teenage puppy love, and the book just stops at the end, presumably because the author is planning a sequel.
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
To say i loved it is an understatement.. mention karim anytime anywhere and i will melt anytime anywhere.

easy to read and hard to put down. i finished this book in 3 days.

A love story set in the iranian revolution of 1970s. With a political backdrop it takes you through the life of Zahra. Widowed with a 5 year old child, beautiful zahra is forced to flee her country afghanistan to Iran as a refugee, straight from one politically unrest country to another.

As destiny would have it she meets her
Jill Dobbe
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Afghan Wife is a remarkable story of the abuse and violence women suffered during the time of the reign of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the religious police. It is a gripping and emotional read that centers on the lives of a couple of Iranian families who are caught up in the turmoil of that time.

Zahra, the main character, along with her son, suffers intimidation, fear, and abuse at the hands of her husband. After a long and harrowing escape over mountain passes, she relocates to Tehran and c
Barb VanderWel
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this & I can't wait for more.
I will be also leaving a review on Goodreads @ Amazon.
And letting everyone know about it.
So i gave it a 5 Stars.
Derek Pearce
May 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Ostensibly this a story of conflict, revolution, marital abuse and eventual refuge but sadly intertwined with these points is an odd almost Mills and Boon romance. For me it was a trial to read to the end simply because I desperately kept hoping against hope that the silly purple prose of the romance would not reappear but my hopes were regularly dashed. Outside of that despite the fact that a large, the largest portion of the action takes place in Teheran just after the Shah has been toppled we ...more
Mar 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, this is a good book and I recommend it. That being sad, there are some things I like and some I don't.

-I enjoyed the cast of characters. Zahra was definitely an interesting character and I tended to agree with her on most things that happened.
-The setting was very enthralling. I have never read a book set in Iran as far as I can remember. Iran during its revolution was a scary time and I think the author did the setting justice.

-Firzun was a selfish and annoying character, a
May 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary, novels
Despite its title, most of this book is set in Tehran in the early days of the Iranian Revolution at the beginning of the American hostage situation. This provides an usual backdrop to the story and an opportunity to view these turbulent days from within.

Zahra is the Afghan Wife in question, married as the story opens to Mahmoud, a controlling afghan who beats her and makes life very challenging for Zahra and their young son. Zahra’s cousin, Firzun, is a university-educated revolutionary. After
Jean Wilde
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoy historical fiction because I like being transported to the past and I enjoy learning something new. "The Afghan Wife" did that for me! It was richly detailed and I could tell that the author really did her homework to convey how volatile and dangerous the late 1970s were for women in Iran. Unlike what the title implies, the story has very little to do with Afghanistan and after about 20% of the book all the events take place in Iran post-Islamic revolution. The characters were interestin ...more
Melanie S
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Love vs. loyalty in the Islamic revolution

I was fascinated by The Afghan Wife. Cindy Davies has paired a familiarity with Islamic culture and family life in Iran and Afghanistan with historical events - the fall of the Shah and the rise of the Islamic Republic in Iran, and the Mujahadeen guerrilla war against the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan. Zahra, an abused wife, is forced to flee her Afghan home with her husband and son by her revolutionary cousin Firzun. Her husband is killed during thei
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-east
“The Afghan Wife” is a well-written look into the lives of the Iranian people after the revolution that forced the shah into exile. Many people have forgotten, or were totally unaware, that prior to the 1970s Afghanistan and Iran were fairly Westernized nations. It wasn’t until the Revolution in the late 70s that the people became so suppressed.

This is a well written book describing the turmoil encountered in day-to-day life in the new Iran. The story revolves around star-crossed lovers Karim a
I received a free copy of this ebook from Booksprout in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

A quick read, this book takes place right after the revolution in Iran when the American Embassy was overrun and hostages were taken. Perhaps I've read too much Khaled Hosseini, but this book felt very light and rushed to me. Zahra's son was almost a non-character and her relationship with Firzun was too complicated to really grasp, but not well enough explained to understand why. Her r
Louise Cox
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book The Afghan Wife is a MUST grips you from the very beginning until the end.
Historically factual with a wonderful gripping love story to boot.
When reading the book you feel as though you are there experiencing everything Zahra is experiencing, you feel her sorrow, her fear, her motherhood, her loyalty and her ultimate love.

The author Cindy Davies captures every moment, with her inimitable description of the atmosphere of the violence during the regime in Iran, that Zhara sees a
May 02, 2018 rated it liked it
The Afghan Wife was such an interesting read for me. This is not the usual genre that I read, and I was admittedly a bit skeptical if I would like it, but I truly did enjoy it. It was captivating and gripping, and though there was so much going on, it was written with so many details that it was easy to read and follow. I learned so much and developed an appreciation for the different cultures, and was able to see things from a very different viewpoint than I am used to. It is a story about poli ...more
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book because it was action packed. I read it in only a few days because once I started I was drawn into the story and couldn't put it down. I also enjoyed the authors way of introducing aspects of the culture. It is the first time I've had to look up words while reading in a while.
There is a glossary at the end of the book, but I didn't find it till I read the whole thing. I gave it four stars because while there was a love story mixed into this action/ spy/ adventure...I
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a great read that pulled you in from the first page. I felt it was turn to the country and all the issues they deal with. This is a story about conflict, marital abuse, revolution, refuge filled with action and all that goes with it. There is so much sorrow it just breaks your heart all that Zahra has to go through. I really wanted to pull you out of the pages. The author does a nice job of showing her fear, sorrow, her loyalty and her undying love as she goes through motherhood. With t ...more
Cynthia Prosser
I found this an interesting book. It started out slowly as a love story, a frustrating love story, with a great many changes and unknowns for the protagonist then switches to more of a political thriller before resolving in a satisfactory ending. It takes place mainly in Iran at the time of the Iranian Revolution with the Hostage crisis as a backdrop. It is an unusual time and place with the play of Middle Eastern cultural, or rather various facets of the culture, the uncertainty of revolution, ...more
Vivien Wilson
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Cindy Davies has written a remarkable book. Her wonderfully drawn characters and landscapes capture the reader's interest as we follow the heroine's journey fleeing from Afghanistan into Iran. Zahra is a young mother who finds herself caught up in events beyond her control as the siege of the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979 escalates. It is also a sensitive love story as Zarah, the heroine is torn between her childhood idol, the charismatic Karim and her somewhat shady cousin Firzun, an unscr ...more
Maria Cox
Oct 30, 2018 rated it liked it

The Afghan Wife is the story of an upper middle-class woman set in Afghanistan and Iran during the Carter administration.


Zahra's husband is a disgusting human being, he’s a tyrant and he abuses her emotionally and physically. Needless to say, I was relieved when he died as it freed her to live a better life with her young son. What follows, however, is a set of complicated events difficult to grasp. Also, I thought the romantic element in the story was convoluted.

The story line i
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Romantic and terrifying at the same time. I really connected with the main character. Zahra is only interested in safety for her and her son. She finds herself a chess piece being moved around by the decisions of others. Iran is an unstable country and Zahra just wants to find somewhere to live in safety. An old crush comes back in to play in her life making things even more complicated. I became so involved in the story I just kept reading all the way to the end. I highly recommend this book.

May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. Although the story is a bit far-fetched and unrealistic, I loved the settings. It felt as though I was really in Iran although I had never really visited this part of the world.The main character seems as a strong and wonderful person and I was sorry for everything she had to go through. I also liked the style of writing, wonderful descriptions and attention paid to some minor details.
I would recommend this book as a good and easy read to all those who believe
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
her life was great and she had a great family but things change when the revolution happened in her home country. they have to flee taking her cousin with them. he causes a lot of problems and she meets her teen love. she will face a choice her family or her first love. who will she pick? where will her life end up as? see what she will do

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Carole Jackson
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this 'page-turner' of a book. A gripping heart-felt story of a woman caught in the turmoil of events around the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the taking of the American Embassy in Tehran. The book has all the ingredients for a 'must read'; containing romance, intrigue and adventure. Cindy Davies writes in a style that puts you right there with these characters of this spell-binding story. This book cries out for a sequel!
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you like reading story about other culture you should like this one.
I definitely enjoyed.
Story about young women trying to better her and her son life . In this terrible revolution time wasn’t easy.
After you loose your husband,provider and father to young boy was definitely unbearable.
Meeting the man she knew before should help. Or maybe not ...

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Janilyn Kocher
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
A decent tale about an Afghan woman caught up in the maelstrom of the Iranian Revolution. It was interesting to read the novel from an non- American perspective. Iran was a turbulent place and the story highlights all the volatility. It also illustrates how helpless the main character, Zahra, was, having to rely on men to direct her path.
Cheryl Hill
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed that I was able to learn more about historical events that I knew very little about through the eyes of the interesting and believable characters. I'll be looking out for the sequel.
Apr 07, 2018 rated it liked it
It started out slow then it picked up. It has good characters, interesting storyline, written well, and different from what I normally read. It was an okay read.
Vizzy Sounder
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wanted to read this book again as was intrigued by the recent historical setting of the book. It's an easy and pleasant read and you get to care about the characters.
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. I haven’t read an engrossing book for so long. This one had me!!! I loved the historical accuracy combined with a love story. Come on Cindy. Where is the sequel?
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great book, lots of compelling action and interesting characters. Zahra is caught in a culture that doesn’t allow women much freedom, and she’s stuck in an abusive marriage. She gets trapped into fleeing from Afghanistan to Iran with her cousin, who takes advantage of her loyalty. I found the culture fascinating and terrifying, and the story kept me reading to see how things would turn out. I really enjoyed the characters and the setting of this book.

I received a free copy of this book via Books
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