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They all said that Bangladesh would be an experience …
For Anne Hamilton, a three-month winter programme of travel and “cultural exchange” in a country where the English language, fair hair, and a rice allergy are all extremely rare was always going to be interesting, challenging, and frustrating. What they didn’t tell Anne was that it would also be sunny, funny, and the start of a love affair with this unexplored area of Southeast Asia.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anne Hamilton wrote A Blonde Bengali Wife after she fell in love with Bangladesh on her first (of many) visits there. The travelogue inspired the charity, Bhola’s Children, and continues to support it.
Before she became a full time writer, editor and tutor, Anne’s career was in social work and community health – which led to many of her earlier international travels. Anne can never quite decide if she comes from the East of England or the West of Ireland, so she compromises by living in Scotland, with her small son; they still travel when they can.
A Blonde Bengali Wife shows the lives beyond the poverty, monsoons, and diarrhoea of Bangladesh and charts a vibrant and fascinating place where one minute Anne is levelling a school playing field "fit for the national cricket team," and then cobbling together a sparkly outfit for a formal wedding the next. Along with Anne are the essential ingredients for survival: a travel-savvy Australian sidekick, a heaven-sent adopted family, and a short, dark, and handsome boy-next-door.
During her adventures zipping among the dusty clamour of the capital Dhaka, the longest sea beach in the world at Cox's Bazaar, the verdant Sylhet tea gardens, and the voluntary health projects of distant villages, Anne amasses a lot of friends, stories ... and even a husband?
A Blonde Bengali Wife is the ‘unexpected travelogue’ that reads like a comedy of manners to tell the other side of the story of Bangladesh.
All money earned from A Blonde Bengali Wife goes direct to the charity, Bhola's Children, of which the author and agent are active participants. A Blonde Bengali Wife isn't about Bhola but it is a tribute to Anne's journeys into Bangladesh and all the friends she has made there. Most of all, it is the story of the country that inspired Bhola's Children.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I started this book I had in my mind that it would be mainly about the charity involved & a basic travel guide. I couldn't have been further off the mark. This is a book written from the heart with humour, compassion, frustration, understanding & a deeply obvious love of the people & country. I felt as though I was privy to Anne's diary .. the descriptive writing is magnificent, the sights, sounds, aromas all come to life. I'm full of admiration at some of the situations she found herself in & dealt with impeccably .. the fabulous characters had me in stitches on occasion, a whole chapter dedicated to 'women's' dilemmas was sensitively dealt with. We as readers get a feel for the poverty of Bangladesh but also the extreme kindness of folk. I have to say I'm not sure I could eat so much rice! The only slightly negative comment is purely a personal one as a vegetarian it's not easy to read towards the end but this in no way detracts from the book & is ultimately explaining the culture. If you want to travel to a far away place from the comfort of your own home then this is the ideal book. I have gained a lot of insight from this. Anne's kindness & involvement continues all money earned from A Blonde Bengali Wife goes direct to the charity, Bhola's Children. I heartily recommend reading it & happily award 5 stars.
From the very start, A Blonde Begali Wife grabs your attention and takes you on a mesmerising journey through Bangladesh. The people, sights, sounds and smells are so vividly and beautifully described, and there are real laugh-out-loud moments, as well as those that leave you close to tears. The author has described her experiences so clearly that the reader really feels they are on the adventure with her, and the love she feels for the country is apparent. A truly engaging and fascinating read. Highly recommended.