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Book Review: The Dressmaker of Khair Khana

Updated on January 20, 2012

A Must Read for All Young Women

Wow. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. It is a true story based on the lives of five sisters in Khair Khana, Afghanistan. The Harvard educated author, Gayle Lemmon, describes a family of young girls who find they must learn to fend for themselves - under the tumultous Taliban rule in Afghanistan.

The true grit and grace these Muslim women exhibit, under the most deplorable of all conditions imaginable, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that women - regardless of race, creed, or color - are survivors. Cool under pressure doesn't even begin to describe these sisters that risked their lives to start a small dressmaking business.

Under the Taliban law, Afghan women were to stay in their homes, refrain from business, schooling, and contact with men (other than family members). The consequences of breaking any of these rules could result in a public beating, imprisonment, or death. Needless to say - this book keeps you on the edge of your seat while these incredibly brave women break with Taliban law. What choice did they have? While neighbors were selling everything they owned, including their own front doors, these women began an "underground" network of dressmakers.

This book is not only riveting but educational as well. I learned a plethora of information about Afghanistan, the Taliban, Islam, and entrepreneurship. Someday - I believe this book will be a staple in every high school library. It ranks right up there with the Diary of Anne Frank, The Story of Joan of Arc, and Freedom Train; The Harriet Tubman Story.

Read The Dressmaker of Khair Khana and be ready to cry, tremble, and finish an entire book in one setting!


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    • sweethearts2 profile image

      sweethearts2 6 years ago from Northwest Indiana

      Thanks for the recommendation - looking for material for book club. I will add to our list. Voted up and useful.