Recommended: An insightful and beautifully written piece of fiction.
This novel reveals modern day Afghanistan realistically and astutely. Windle juxtaposes the perspectives of three characters: 1) a slightly naive Christian woman, in Afghanistan to start a relief project, 2) an intelligent but rough-on-the edges American security chief to the MOI, and 3) an Afghan native with a tragic past who only wants to please Allah.
Veiled Freedom mixes Western and Middle Eastern culture, politics, and Christian and Islamic spirituality; it has action and mystery while still being a lighthearted, easy read.
The novel’s strongest theme is quite relevant: change has to happen from the inside out. No country can force freedom or lifestyle on another country, nor can anyone spiritually ‘convert’ those who are content as they are–our personal and corporate freedoms must be taken from the inside out.
The only downside was the superficial way in which Christian character, Amy’s, faith was portrayed. I felt the novel worked much harder to reveal Islam than Christianity, yet, in this day where not all ‘Christianities’ are alike, I would have liked to feel that Amy was deeply and desperately connected to God–especially as she’s made to be the story’s ‘model’ Christian.
Overall, this was an enjoyable and educational read, deepening my understanding of Afghanistan and its people.