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When the Moon Is Low Audiobook

When the Moon Is Low

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Publisher's Summary

From the author of The Pearl That Broke Its Shell comes an unforgettable story of terror, survival, perseverance, and hope that chronicles one extraordinarily brave Afghan woman's odyssey to save her family and find asylum in the West - a tale of a daring escape, a perilous trek across Europe, and the courage and tenacity of one defiant woman.

Mahmood's passion for his wife, Fereiba, a schoolteacher, is greater than any love she's ever known. But their happy middle-class world - a life of education, work, and comfort - implodes when their country is engulfed in war and the Taliban rises to power.

Mahmood, a civil engineer, becomes a target of the new fundamentalist regime and is murdered. Forced to flee Kabul with her three children, Fereiba has one hope to survive: She must find a way to cross Europe and reach her sister's family in England. With forged papers and help from kind strangers they meet along the way, Fereiba and her children make a dangerous crossing into Iran under cover of darkness. Exhausted and brokenhearted but undefeated, Fereiba manages to smuggle them as far as Greece. But in a busy market square, their fate takes a frightening turn when her teenage son, Saleem, becomes separated from the rest of the family. Faced with an impossible choice, Fereiba pushes on with her daughter and baby while Saleem falls into the shadowy underground network of undocumented Afghans who haunt the streets of Europe's capitals. Fereiba and Saleem struggle to reunite and ultimately find a place where they can begin to reconstruct their lives.

©2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2015 Blackstone Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (671 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gillian Austin, TX, United States 01-25-16
    Gillian Austin, TX, United States 01-25-16 Member Since 2016

    SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not Written So Much As Sung!"

    I didn't mean to listen to this from start to finish with only a tiny nap in between, honest I didn't. It was just too damned engaging, the characters were so well-fleshed out, and the writing! They weren't just words on a page, they were a darned hymn! If I could write like this I'd be sitting at my laptop day and night, enthralled, thankful.
    Instead, I'm listening to "When the Moon Is Low," by Nadia Hashimi, enthralled, thankful.
    From the beginning, Fereiba is a strong, immensely likable character, kept at home, who will do anything for an education. Then she is swirled through the waters of the conventions of arranged marriage only to get off on an answered prayer.
    But nothing is ever easy in Afghanistan. An arranged marriage might not be the worst thing in the world.
    As Fereiba says, she lives through, "many regime changes in Afghanistan." Starting with the death of her mother. And it goes from there. There's her stepmother, but there's the Soviet Union as she gets her teaching certificate too. And the Taliban.
    Everything goes from loving exposition to utterly breathless from there, but characterization never fails and plot never falters. And once again, at the danger of being hopelessly repetitive, the writing is exemplary.
    Sneha Mathan and Neil Shah turn in wonderful performances. I kinda had reservations about Neil Shah, having heard him in a previous audiobook where he turned in a capable but less than stellar performance, and here was a book than demanded fantastic. I was really, really pleased. The hand-off from Fereiba to Saleem is credible, pulse-pounding, and humane.
    Spend the money, spend the credit, spend the time on this truly awesome story. It's worth the sleep you'll lose!

    39 of 42 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 11-07-15
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 11-07-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "beautiful book, the face of Refugees"

    I read Hashimi''s debut novel, "The Pearl that Broke its Shell"; that book had an interesting concept but desperately needed an editor.
    I worried about a similar fate for this book, but enjoyed "Pearl" enough that I gave it a go.

    This book described Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation, then the Taliban, and one family's desperate escape to freedom. I loved the descriptions of characters - those who helped and those who hindered - and especially the family that is the focus.

    Sneha Mathan is, as always, good as a narrator. I think a little bit of production might have cut out some of the awkward pauses in her performance. Neil Shah had a strong emotive performance, but during dialogue, he would pitch his voice low, which was unnecessary to my ears.

    This story gives the face to the current refugee crisis facing the world. I personally enjoyed the first bit of the book, and found the ending was abrupt. This book could have used another chapter or two to round it out further, but those are minor drawbacks to a wonderful book and performance.

    32 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doris Piccinin 07-31-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Outstanding"
    What made the experience of listening to When the Moon Is Low the most enjoyable?

    This is the best book I have listened to. It is full of cultural cues into Afganian live when the Taliban took over, struggles of refugees not only Afganistan refugees but others throughout the story, a series of love stories and more dark affections. The shadowing of growing up in difficult times is mirrored throughout the story. It is a must read or listen!


    What other book might you compare When the Moon Is Low to and why?

    Closest book I can recall is Orphan Train.


    What does Sneha Mathan and Neil Shah bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The voices make the images come alive as the story unfolds.


    Who was the most memorable character of When the Moon Is Low and why?

    Salim as we see him grow from a happy child to a sombre teenager and are able to view him mature far beyond his years, from experiences that no one at his age should have to endure.


    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Girlbos 11-30-15
    Girlbos 11-30-15 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Get ready to go on a journey..."
    Any additional comments?

    The story is told so vividly, that you feel like you are on this family's journey...You can smell the smells, hear the sounds, it transports you to a place far away and takes you on their emotional journey. It is about dreams, life, hardship, love, loss, survival...It is about life.

    17 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-10-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Mesmerizing and captivating"
    Would you listen to When the Moon Is Low again? Why?

    No. I don't enjoy listening to the same book twice. However, I really enjoyed it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of When the Moon Is Low?

    When Saleem was separated from his family and persevered to reunite with them under harrowing circumstances.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite scene was when Saleem helped the prostitute and then she helped him.Salem, in spite of his circumstances, showed that he was still a compassionate boy.


    If you could take any character from When the Moon Is Low out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    It would be Salem. I would want to ask him what made him so strong and how that trait helped him. He was so smart and always tried to find a way. I hope he made it to his family. I want to think he did.


    Any additional comments?

    I would highly recommend this book. I just couldn't stop listening. The narrator's performance was excellent.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Virginia Lee Buhr 11-06-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Immigration story"

    This is a very timely story about immigration from war torn countries to Europe. Thoroughly enjoyed and great discussion book.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    maranda f. hancock 01-26-16 Member Since 2015
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    "the ending....."

    I loved the story but the ending was not good. not knowing the rest of the story upsets me. a story should never end like this

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Ryder 03-25-16
    M. Ryder 03-25-16 Member Since 2016
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    "BeautifullyWritten and Insightful"

    Did not expect to like this book so much, but oh my goodness! The story actually helped me to better understand how terribly difficult it was for Afghan refugees to leave their homes and move on to other parts of the world, such as Europe and England. Could not imagine having to sell my valuables in order to get fake passports and passage to that of safety. Also, the main characters here suffered poor treatment from police and other officials, and during their travels, they were even exposed to awful housing conditions and had very little food to eat. The author takes us on one family's journey from Afghanistan to England where their family now resides and has promised to provide shelter and care. Sadly, these Afghan refugees risked death for a greater life. Only problem with the story was the ending. I felt it was much too abrupt, and left me wondering whether or not the teenage son finally made it back to his mom and siblings. Enjoyed the narration, but definitely would say that the female performer was better. She was believable as the matriarch, and as a mom, could truly relate to wanting to protect her children at all cost. Purchased this book as the daily special, and would certainly recommend listening to it, even for 1 credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sunny Ocala, FL United States 09-11-16
    sunny Ocala, FL United States 09-11-16 Member Since 2016

    from the sunshine state

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    "A Classic"

    When the Moon is Low
    Nadia Hashimi has written a riveting story about a war torn Afghan family forced to leave their home in search of a safe heaven. The story revolves around its two main characters Fareiba and her teenage son Salem. In fact all the chapters in the book are titled either Farieba or Salem. The story takes us through their trials and tribulations as they take on a monumental task of traversing a dangerous terrain in search of freedom with very little in terms of money and resources. The money gets depleted quickly despite careful rationing.
    This book flows very well. It will grab your attention and you will find it hard to put it down once you get started. The dominant emotion throughout the book will be one of pathos. The author demonstrates a wonderful style of storytelling reminiscent of another author of Afghan background Khaled Husseini.
    The end comes abruptly leaving the audience longing for more and imagining the final outcome. It is however obvious that their predicament did not end there.
    I congratulate the author on giving us such a classic.
    I listened to the audio version which was narrated very well by Sneha Mattan for chapters titled Farieba and Neil Shah for chapters titled Salem.

    9-10-2016

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy McDonald BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA United States 07-15-16
    Nancy McDonald BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA United States 07-15-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved story but"

    I need to know what happens next!!!! Need next book to come out. Is there a sequel?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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