Two American sisters, Christine and Elizabeth Shepherd, are on a silk-buying trip in India for their business in California. After Elizabeth mysteriously disappears, Christine is compelled to challenge the ineffectual U.S. and Indian bureaucracies and venture alone, with various strangers as guides, to find her sister. Disguised in the traditional female garb of some Islamic cultures, Christine continues her search in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She navigates the mysterious tribes of the Pashtuns, has a dangerous encounter with the Taliban, and learns to fear the "Jinn", the devils that dominate the superstitions of the people she must understand in order to survive.
This audiobook is an especially personal production, based as it is on authentic research performed by Cheryl Howard Crew during visits to the region, produced with the creative consultation of the author’s husband, Academy Award winner Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind), and performed by their daughter, Golden Globe nominee Bryce Dallas Howard (As You Like It).”
©2005 Cheryl Howard Crew (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
The description of this book really caught my interest. The first couple of chapters held my attention, but after Elizabeth disappears the story falls apart. The characters aren't believable. It doesn't seem like the author researched the region or had much knowledge of the workings U.S. intelligence agencies. The story jumps in and out of dream sequences and is difficult to follow at times. Then she tries to introduce some paranormal qualities to the characters, but the introduction of this is not smooth and comes across almost as if she knew the story was dying so she threw it a rope.
The narration is alright, but the recording has background noises and static and it skips in places. I have been a regular subscriber for 3 years and have listened to almost 200 recordings over that time. I have never had one as poor quality as this.
Overall, this was a very disappointing purchase.
This book caught me in 10 minutes and carried all the way through. Although there were events too improbable to survive, the depth of expression to describe life in central Asia is remarkable. The performance is top notch with amazing clarity of voice and accent. Listen to this book!
This might be one of the weakest books I have ever heard. Christine Shepherd, the protagonist, is portrayed as everything from a weak, sick, helpless, pathetic female to a Ninja sporting an assault rifle and fighting the Taliban as she scours a harsh landscape to find her sister--who she believes is dead? Is she a prisoner or a freedom fighter? Christine manages, single handedly to take out a much sought-after terrorist after suffering multiple rapes, illnesses, starvation and beatings. One minute she is so weak she can not walk then suddenly she is sprinting after middle eastern thugs. AND she knows everything there is to know about AK-47s and Kalashnikovs.
Other characters are thinly drawn. Christine runs into many people during her dash across three countries--we're never sure where she is or how she got there--those characters are never fleshed out and all run together as gun clad mobs of dirty, bearded men with lust in their eyes and the veiled, beaten women who service them. At one point Christine manages to grab an imprisoned, battered woman and they escape the bad guys. For some reason she decides to return (with her fellow escapee) to her captors because...
Even Christine's sister, Elizabeth, is never a real character. As for the Aussie with melanoma, I have no idea why he was even a character in this book except to remind readers to wear sunscreen. Money in large quantities changes hands, disappears and appears with little explanation. Christine remains attractive enough in her blood and urine soaked robes to attract the attention of one of the bearded guys--the one with great eyes. What? She had been raped, beaten, and practically killed but she heals enough to have a romantic liaison with a Muslim guy she's know for...how long? It's never clear how much time has passed. Was it a month or a year?
How did this book ever get published?
It was a good book, it almost lost me but I stuck with it and loved it.
Learning about the customs and dress and what went on over there..
Enjoyed her voices
When Christine found what she was looking for...
I'm a pediatric RN. I have 3 adult children and one awesome son in law. I've been married for 30 years, most of them happy! Love Xe Sands!
I've been listening to one or two books every month since 2002 and Bryce Howard does the most incredible narration I have ever heard. The story is also sooooo good! It's up their with The Help. Couldn't wait to listen and Did not want it to end! Highly recommend it.
Probably not. The main character was an incredibly stupid woman who continuously made error after error in her life. What is the point of reading about a weak and stupid character. I was looking for a story of a woman who overcame an adverse circumstance with intelligence and bravery, not stupid and pointless decisions.
I think so. It inspired me with the strength of the human spirit. I felt a rare insight into the female mind.
Unbelievable! Versatile and believable.
Nothing made sense, the writing was poor, and the story was drawn out in some situations and not in others. It seemed to be told as if it were realistic, and in the end, switched to romantic .
Good in action scenes, but not varying with each character
Dont buy this book, these are many good novels set in India, or spy novels set in war zones.
The reader could do amazing voices for the various characters, but as for her reading of the story, it was so awful I was thinking of returning the book after only 2 chapters. On top of that, the audio had some bad noises at times that were startling. Luckily, there weren't many.
I can't say I liked the main character. She put herself in one dangerous situation after another - raped, bloodied, nose broken, smelling of urine and…it just got worse and worse. Then there's the big switch from subservient trodden-on woman to a revengeful gun-toting mama. And with another change in personality, she falls in love, of course.
I suppose the thing that kept me with the story was the peek into life in such a different part of the world. It's portrayal of the lives of women was especially disturbing for it seemed their only function was that of serving cruel husbands and bearing children. There was little to show how they deal with their daily lives and find some kind of solace, except one small mention of the pleasure of embroidering a scarf.
The story reveals (if it's accurate, then it's really sad) a depth of hatred and distrust that people in that part of the world have for each other and this could explain the genocides and atrocities we hear of on the news.
No, I didn't cry at the end, I was just happy it was over.
It was about ten times too long, and too fantastical to be believable.
I read this book hoping that even though I want nothing to do with genies that I might gain some insight into the plight of women who really live under Sharia law. I did accomplish that, in part. The rest of the story was trash.
Most excellent intonation
Sadness...not because the story evoked the emotion, but thinking about the real women that are bound to such imperious men turns my stomach.
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