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The Broken Circle: A Memoir of Escaping Afghanistan

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  4,796 ratings  ·  388 reviews

An emotional and sweeping memoir of love and survival—and of a committed and desperate family uprooted and divided by the violent, changing landscape of Afghanistan in the early 1980s.

Before the Soviet invasion of 1980, Enjeela Ahmadi remembers her home—Kabul, Afghanistan—as peaceful, prosperous, and filled with people from all walks of life. But after her mother,

Kindle Edition, 246 pages
Published March 1st 2019 by Little A
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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This was my February choice for the 'Amazon Prime first reads' and I chose it because I thought a first person account of escaping from Afghanistan at the time of the Russian invasion was sure to be interesting. Unfortunately I was a bit disappointed by the way in which the tale was delivered.

It's possible to write a great book about a not-so-interesting life but it's also (sadly) very easy to take a fascinating story and deliver it in such a bland way that it fails to hit the target. We learn
I've been an Amazon Prime member for years now. However, it was only last month that I discovered their First Reads program where members can receive one free eBook each month out of a small selection. I'm increasingly interested in nonfiction and the premise here sounded adventurous and educational, so it's my first choice.

The Broken Circle tells the heartbreaking tale of an Afghan family forced to leave their motherland due to the Soviet invasion and socialist revolution. I'd consider myself
Debbie Stark
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written, gripping, and heart-breaking! I only wish it was longer and told more details of their travel to and life in America.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2019, memoir
I really feel like I was duped by this book. And I think it falls more in the category of fiction than memoir. Implausible is the best description that comes to mind. The reader is not told until the end that this was not written by Enjeela Ahmadi-Miller, but instead by a ghost writer. It quickly becomes apparent when you start reading that these are not the memories of a 7-10 year old. She never mentions how old she is as she escapes Afghanistan, but she does say that she was born in 1975, and ...more
Joan Buell
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Emotional and touching memoir

This is a beautifully written account of life in Afghanistan before it became a Wharton country. Through the eyes of a five-year-old girl we see her comfortable life, in a large Muslim family in Kabul. Then democracy and peace are shattered, first with civil turmoil, and then by the invasion of the Russian army. Her security is rattled when her mother and 2 siblings leave for India. The remaining four children have to care for themselves, because their father, who
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Engaging + Enlightening

I read this quickly and was very interested in this true story about immigration and being a political refugee. The topic is, of course, very relevant at this point in our own American history as we struggle to come to a new chapter in how the USA grapples with border security, a need for capable workers, and our history as a welcoming country for refugees.
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully written memoir ! An absolutely awesome and unputdownable book, highly recommend it !! Just loved it, loved it, LOVED it !!!
Lesley Potts
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you @amazonpublishing for sending me a free copy in exchange for a review.

The Deets: Set in Kabul, Afghanistan, we follow the story of Enjeela Ahmandi’s five-year journey of escape to India to be reunited with her mother and the rest of her siblings.

A memoir telling the story about survival, self-discovery, and war.

Just my thoughts: It started out fairly well. The story was told through the eyes of five-year-old Enjeela where she had that perfect family and childhood. In came the war, and
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great read

I really enjoyed reading this book! What amazing things to go through in life, especially as a child. Unlike other memoirs ive read this book had a nice time frame and didnt speed through or drag out anything that was unnecessary as well.
Feb 19, 2019 rated it liked it
While I appreciate Ahmadi-Miller sharing her story of escape from Afghanistan in the 1980s, I had a few issues with this memoir. As a child of about 10 years old from a wealthy Afghani family, she and three of her older siblings fled Kabul on foot during the Soviet invasion, crossing into Pakistan where they were reunited with their father. From there, the family eventually made its way to India where Ahmadi-Miller's mother and other siblings lived. (Side note: It was unclear to me how old ...more
How the 1% survive as refugees..... This is certainly a compelling narrative of hardship, perseverance, and courage. The story is well-told and gripping, painting a vivid picture of Afghanistan and nearby countries in the 1980s. What was disconcerting is the lack of the author's substantive reflection or awareness on how incredibly privileged she was as a refugee. Her father seems to have an endless supply of money for hotels, trains, planes, food, clothes, bribes, etc--even when he isn't able ...more
Anwen Hayward
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
A lot of this is pretty clearly made up - sorry, I don't buy for a second that an 8 year old girl stared down a wolf that was feeding on a deer carcass and was saved from death because she and the wolf felt that they were 'kin' - and the ghostwriter has used a weirdly flat narrative voice, but the story itself is pretty amazing. I'd give it a 3.5 if I could, but alas, I can't.
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is hard to imagine what people go through to just to have a chance at happiness and a “normal life”. The strength human spirit is an amazing gift that we should all embrace.
Hannah Yoo
The writing:
- some of the sentences are similar to third grade writing whereas other sentences appear to be written by a more experienced writer.
- seems like the ghostwriter took some liberties with the details. it’s not credible that Enjeela would remember every little detail about every single aspect of her journey. even if she kept a journal as a child, that child journalist would not have documented everything.
- the writing makes for a choppy read. there’s no rhythm or flow.

The story:
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoirs, culture
I am delighted that fiction burnout and my quest for relevant reading led me to The Broken Circle. This is a gripping book. Children should not have to be put through travails such as this. Why must men band together and continually keep tearing down life? Yes, men. I have yet to see a group of women attempt to overthrow a government.

It is a miracle that Enjeela and her siblings lived through these ordeals and came out the other side whole. I don't want to give anything away, other than my
Feb 06, 2019 rated it liked it
The children and father certainly had a lot of resilience as they made their way from Kabul to Pakistan. The thing that strikes me the most though is how much money the family must have had in order to survive so long with neither parent working. They maintained 2 residences for several years plus the children had enough money to stay at a hotel for 6 months in Pakistan while waiting for their father to show up. Plus all the money they had to pay out in bribes and or transportation trying to get ...more
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
A wonderful story

This is a remarkable story of a family and of a young girl being uprooted from their home in Kabul and ending up in America. Throughout the story Enjeela appears to be an extraordinary person - her bio confirms that - full of empathy and wisdom beyond her years. The story also provides insights to an Afghanistan that is far removed from the country we know now. The journey to safety is perilous and at times bordering on suicidal. This is highly recommended - a sea of emotions
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is seen through the eyes of a young girl living in Kabul, Afghanistan with her family. One day her life is turned upside down when the Russian fighters entered Kabul. Because her father was wealthy and worked in the American Embassy there, the family had to get out of Kabul before the Russians took their home, their money, and their father. The rest of the story is about their flight on foot from Kabul to India without their passports. An amazing story!
Mobeme53 Branson
Feb 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I find it difficult to review this book. Although the writer went through a horrible time traveling from Afghanistan to India, she started her journey in privilege and ended it in privilege. What struck me most was her view of Afghanistan as a wonderful place until the Soviet Union came in and tried to take over. She appears to ignore the fact that there were vast class differences and tensions between the government and the lower class. That being said it sounds like it was a lovely place and ...more
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: perspective
This was a great book! It's hard to imagine all they went through. The father had such great faith and when one door closed another one always opened. I shed some tears thinking of being apart from my kids for several years. I can't imagine.
Marianne Dauphin
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable and terrifying - the author has a way of chronicling pain, hope, and perseverance in a way that left me wanting more. I only wish that the book had continued a bit more from where it had left off.
Jan Lehman
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lovely memoir of a difficult beginning

Such an interesting read. I think this story helps the rest of the world better understand the culture of the middle east.. The story portraits a much different perspective of life in Afghanistan and it people, then has been exposed in the news. A gentle people ravaged by war and strife and their attempt to survive and rise above the chaos. The author seems to have wisdom beyond her years even as a child, which must have been very difficult to maintain
Jennifer Failla
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
At times I actually gasped at the harrowing experiences the author lived through during her escape. Beautifully written memoir of a life lived I couldn't begin to understand. I couldn't put down until I finished.
Aug 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy to read and beautifully told story of the impacts of the war in Afghanistan and the joy and strength of family. Finished a bit more quickly than I would have liked but enjoyed it nonetheless
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Poetic and gripping account

I loved this tale of a little girl caught up in Afghanistan’s troubles. The voice is delightful, the descriptions evocative and the story keeps you on the edge of your seat. A wonderful testament to family love and determination in hard times.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Such an interesting tale and memoir, but I wish she would have listed the children’s ages throughout their journey. It was hard to get full perspective without know that.
Barbara Cohen
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story! I’ve recently started reading more memoire type books and enjoyed this one. Very sad and emotional and times but I liked learning about the history of the family and how they transitioned from Afghanistan to Pakistan to India and then on to the US. The children were forced to grow up so young with everything they experienced during their journey. I would recommend this book.
Esther Bradley-detally
Excellent! a must read; profound story
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Should be classified as YA

Its NOT the Kiteflyer. Very disappointing with an abrupt ending as though the last chapter was lost. Should indicate she used a ghost writer.
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