We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Behind the Closed House Audiobook

Behind the Closed House: A Coming of Age Historical Romance Novel

Regular Price:$19.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

More than a love story ... more than a coming-of-age novel ... Behind the Closed House chronicles the journey of a young woman whose struggles mirror those of her beloved country, Afghanistan.

Zulaikha finds post-9/11 Afghanistan a hostile land for women who dream of getting an education and an even more hostile place for those who dare to dream of teaching. She should know. As long as she could remember, she had wanted only one thing - to teach.

Hafeez, once a top-notch freedom fighter who helped to drive the Soviet Union out of the country also discovered that Afghanistan, fast becoming nothing more than the pawn of the Taliban regime senses the change. He is transformed from a well-respected neighbor and friend to an emotionally crippled man following the death of his wife.

Refusing to accept a society in which women are sold in marriage, she's vulnerable as a single woman whose parents have recently died. Despite this, she's determined that nothing will stop her from proclaiming the human rights of women in this country - and never loses sight of her ultimate dream, to teach.

After a series of tragedies it appears she may have broken free from the mores of the political climate and found true love.

But can either survive the cruelest act of a vengeful madman?

A coming of age historical romance novel which will take you through Zulaikha's emotional and powerful journey.

©2017 Taghreid El Zein (P)2017 Taghreid El Zein

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

5.0 (7 )
5 star
 (7)
4 star
 (0)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
5.0 (7 )
5 star
 (7)
4 star
 (0)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
5.0 (7 )
5 star
 (7)
4 star
 (0)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Lauren Moldvay 09-18-17
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    10
    10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful Story!"

    Zulaikha and Hafeez are two souls who are trying to navigate life in Afganistan after the tragic events of 9/11. Zulaikha dreams of becoming a teacher, but in the now changing times she is oppressed as a woman and faces challenges and heartbreaking situations.

    Hafeez, a once spiritual man has fallen dramatically since the unexpected death of his wife. Hafeez, in his emotionally crippled state ends up lost in the Taliban and contines his downward spiral until he meets Zulaikha.

    While this is a romance story, there are so many factors at play. It is a story of redemption, of spirituality and of overcoming the odds to make your dreams come true. Definitely recommend this well written and good paced story to anyone looking for something that is more than just another love story. The narrator is excellent in switching between the different voices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chryssa Portland, OR 09-18-17
    Chryssa Portland, OR 09-18-17 Member Since 2016
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    13
    13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Truly Unique Historical Story with some Romance!"
    What made the experience of listening to Behind the Closed House the most enjoyable?

    This isn't always a pleasant read but the difference in perspective is incredibly refreshing. I've always enjoyed historical romance but the entire genre skews very much from the western perspective. Zulaikha and Hafeez's struggles and journeys in Afghanistan were fascinating. The romance isn't the driving force of the story, so if you're looking for straight ahead romance you might want to look elsewhere but this book is such a great read. The main themes of the story center around keeping hope and the drive to succeed alive when things beyond your control derail your dreams. It's inspirational and Taghreid El Zein's writing will transport you to another place.


    Which character – as performed by Nicki Gallo – was your favorite?

    Nicki Gallo's voice work brought all the characters to life so convincingly! I was transported by this story and Nicki Gallo's voice.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Cassada 09-16-17
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    6
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Strong story with inspiring heroine"
    Would you listen to Behind the Closed House again? Why?

    Yes, because in my opinion the audio version of Behind the Closed House does a better job of showcasing the emotions of the characters while describing the setting of the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved Zulaikha. As the main character, I found her to be so inspiring. Her life as a woman in Afghanistan trying to achieve her dreams along with the hardships she faced along the way, made me connect with her. Throughout the story, I was wondering if she'd be able to overcome her troubles in order to achieve her dream.


    What about Nicki Gallo’s performance did you like?

    I loved Nicki's performance because she did a good job of switching her tone between the female and the male characters. I never would have guessed it was the same person doing the voice for all the characters. She has the type of voice that is perfect for not only narrating different characters, but also narrating a variety of stories.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This was a book that once I started listening to it, I couldn't stop. Everything from the setting in Afghanistan to the characters to the overall plot of the story had me captivated.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KH 09-16-17
    KH 09-16-17
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    13
    13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story from a foreign viewpoint"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. It was easy to listen to and gave a lot of insight into the “other side” of Afghanistan. Many people think of 9/11 and the sadness and the destruction it caused the United States; however, there are many really great people in Afghanistan (and other countries) who have suffered, too.

    This book delves into the character of Zulaikha, who so badly wants to teach but cannot because of the environment and status of women in Afghanistan. The author provides a bit about Zulaikha’s past, which seems to make it start out slow but makes sense later in the book. The book throws in some romance while describing the never-ending effort Zulaikha gives to reach her goals.

    This book was full of emotions. Sadness when Zulaikha’s parents are killed. Anger because of the injustices she faces. Happiness about her connection with Hafeez. Pride regarding her persistence and the lengths she goes to when achieving her desires. And much more.

    Beautifully written and well read. I highly recommend this audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kerrie 09-15-17
    Kerrie 09-15-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    11
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very inspirational"

    Zulaikha wants to teach, but after 9/11 the situation in Afghanistan makes it impossible for her to follow her dream, so she must figure out another way to make her dream possible. There is nothing that Zulaikha can do in her current situation because of the oppression of women in her country.

    When she meets Hafeez, it's almost as if a spark is set off between them. He has been through his own trials and tribulations, and is emotionally distant after the death of his wife. Can the two overcome their own personal obstacles to make a life worth living?

    This story was very sweet and inspirational, to see how Zulaikha tries and dries not give up on her dream is truly respectable, and the love story that simmers through out the novel
    Is beautiful and real. There is an obviously language difference that made some parts hard to understand, but it was worth it to read to the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Flythe 09-14-17
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    6
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An inspirational story of one woman's journey"

    Behind the Closed House follows the life of Zulaikha as her once peaceful life is fraught with strife as she tries to live her life in a war ravaged country. The Taliban starts to assume power over Afghanistan after the Soviets pulled out.

    I started this book out not knowing too much about Afghanistan or the Taliban past what we hear about them on TV now.

    Zulaikha is proof that despite our circumstances, hope and our spirit can get us through any hard time we may face. We can’t lose hope and we can’t give up the fight. Zulaikha never once gave up on her dream and it was a true tale of inspiration and gave me a new respect for those living in a country that is so different from my own.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ZENIMW Austin, TX 09-13-17
    ZENIMW Austin, TX 09-13-17 Member Since 2017
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    12
    12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Evocative/enlightening re: women's cultural usage"
    What made the experience of listening to Behind the Closed House the most enjoyable?

    It was a well written story. I liked the tone and word usage. It was descriptive without being too wordy. It was an easy story to follow.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Behind the Closed House?

    In my opinion, one of the most memorable moments in the book is when her home is bombed and her parents die. You know from earlier discussions that her childhood is gone forever. She will now face the world "out there" on her own.


    What does Nicki Gallo bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I was surprised several times by her range of voices and the way I was able to distinguish her characters one from another. She did a great job of bringing the story to life for me.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were actually several moments in the book that I was moved by, but, one in particular, was when at the wedding when she is joined by her two sons. It was a joyous way for her to start on a new journey.


    Any additional comments?

    This novel is a great example of how a peace-loving people can be taken over and oppressed by a stronger, more intense force. They are forced to either join and fight with them, or, in most cases, they and their loved ones are killed or taken into captivity. There will always be those who are fighting against them or die trying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.