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The Dressmaker of Khair Khana Audiobook

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

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Publisher's Summary

The life Kamila Sidiqi had known changed overnight when the Taliban seized control of the city of Kabul. After receiving a teaching degree during the civil war - a rare achievement for any Afghan woman - Kamila was subsequently banned from school and confined to her home. When her father and brother were forced to flee the city, Kamila became the sole breadwinner for her five siblings. Armed only with grit and determination, she picked up a needle and thread and created a thriving business of her own.

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana tells the incredible true story of this unlikely entrepreneur who mobilized her community under the Taliban. Former ABC Newsreporter Gayle Tzemach Lemmon spent years on the ground reporting Kamila's story, and the result is an unusually intimate and unsanitized look at the daily lives of women in Afghanistan. These women are not victims; they are the glue that holds families together; they are the backbone and the heart of their nation.

Afghanistan's future remains uncertain as debates over withdrawal timelines dominate the news. The Dressmaker of Khair Khana moves beyond the headlines to transport you to an Afghanistan you have never seen before. This is a story of war, but it is also a story of sisterhood and resilience in the face of despair. Kamila Sidiqi's journey will inspire you, but it will also change the way you think about one of the most important political and humanitarian issues of our time.

©2011 Gayle Tzemach Lemmon (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (315 )
5 star
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4.1 (258 )
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4.2 (253 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Melinda Princess Anne, MD, USA 12-02-12
    Melinda Princess Anne, MD, USA 12-02-12 Member Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    142
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Gentle Book About a Harsh Subject"

    This is a good book, with a surprising gentleness for the topic, as the author presents it with the perspective of the real life subjects. As an American, I was initially frustrated not to read descriptions of terror, anger, and strong responses on the part of the subjects, but I am thinking that the tone of this book, more than many others, may truly present the perspective of these deeply religious women who live in a culture with responses to the terror around them that are very different than our own. The family's innermost emotions are not conveyed here; we don't witness that, (the author very carefully avoids any personal analysis; it could have been written by the women themselves, who carefully preserve their privacy as an aspect of their culture) but we do get to see how they respond outwardly, which is with strength, determination, and a constant deep respect for each other with in the world that they live. These women LIVE by their faith in everything that they do in a way that many of us would have difficulty comprehending in our secular societies. I learned more about this very different culture than about the Taliban, which was fine with me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Macomb, MI, United States 05-23-12
    Julie Macomb, MI, United States 05-23-12

    Mommy of Pookies

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Women of Afghanistan are Amazing!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This was a wonderful real life tale. The women portrayed in this were amazing and the author and narrator keep you engaged through out. I felt the fear and the betrayal of a country turned against it's own citizens, but also an appreciation of why events unfolded the way they did. It helped me understand what it felt like to have the taliban take over your neighborhood and the women shut into their homes, only to find a way to keep themselves occupied as well as make a living in such an environment! This really is a must listen to for anyone interested in women in Afghanistan and their survival and strength. I was in awe.


    What other book might you compare The Dressmaker of Khair Khana to and why?

    The Kite Runner


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When the Taliban regime had just taken over and how it affected the women.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I had many "drive way" moments where I couldn't get out of my car because I wanted to listen to the end of a chapter.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell Bernard Salt Lake City, Utah United States 05-13-15
    Russell Bernard Salt Lake City, Utah United States 05-13-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Taliban Monsters"
    Would you listen to The Dressmaker of Khair Khana again? Why?

    I found the book interesting about a time and part of the world I know little about.
    I would not listen to again I have to many other things to listen to.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Narration was fine,.


    Any additional comments?

    I liked the story, I just did not love it. I think that is a personal thing with me, just not cup of tea I guess.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alejandra Viaduc 01-20-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "Quick read, well written."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    If they were interested in all of the poverty/struggles of women in Afghanistan, I would. This book is based around a very specific topic.
    But, it's well written and concise. The author doesn't waste our time with useless details.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I was proud of Kamila and her sisters.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Kind of. The narration had some emotion, but not enough. And the voices didn't really change. That's tough, since there are SO many characters in this book. I figured out who was speaking by context, usually.


    Do you think The Dressmaker of Khair Khana needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Nope. As I said before, it was concise and to the point. She covered everything she needed to to attach us to the characters, help us feel their struggles, and avoid kicking the dead horse- which is often the problem with stories of struggle.


    Any additional comments?

    No, thanks.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Boston MA 03-07-13
    Amazon Customer Boston MA 03-07-13 Member Since 2012

    mom of six

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mediocre telling of what should have been great"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Different author. I kept thinking that I should have felt some kind of emotional connection to this story, but I never did. It's a shame. The actual story about Camila has so much potential with the right author. There were a lot of holes in the story--pieces that I was surprised the author had just left out.


    What other book might you compare The Dressmaker of Khair Khana to and why?

    Three Cups of Tea. Both good stories with bad authors. Three Cups of Tea ended up being full of falsehoods. This one has been accused of the same thing.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Titanic Fever


    Did The Dressmaker of Khair Khana inspire you to do anything?

    Have a book club discussion about the book.


    Any additional comments?

    Emotionally devoid. Shame on this journalist for not being able to produce a better book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NICKIE POWAY, CA, United States 02-18-13
    NICKIE POWAY, CA, United States 02-18-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Amateur and unoriginal, the narration even worse"
    What disappointed you about The Dressmaker of Khair Khana?

    Inaccurate details about Afghanistan , Would have helped if the author had really gone to that country and spent some time learning the culture and the language. The narration was even worse.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon again?

    No


    Would you be willing to try another one of Sarah Zimmerman’s performances?

    Definitely not.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Extreme disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    The author needs to stick to stories about what she knows and leave it to the likes of Khaled Hosseini to write about Afghanistan.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chiwiz Langdon, NH, United States 02-04-13
    Chiwiz Langdon, NH, United States 02-04-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really good, but I guess I was expecting ..."

    I guess I was expecting something on the order of "The Kite Runner." Didn't realize it was not a novel. Still, once I realized it was a true story it didn't quite come up to "Three Cups of Tea" in its ability to capture my attention. I enjoyed it, I was not bored, but somehow it was not powerful enough a narrative to push me over the "3 Star" mark

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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