This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by J. Aislynn d'Merricksson for Readers' Favorite
Silent Trees: Power and Passion in War-torn Afghanistan by Nasir Shansab is a haunting story of a country on the verge of chaotic collapse. Most of the book is set in the late '70s, before the Soviet invasion. It is told from the viewpoint of several major players, most notably the businessman Habib Dhil. Despite assurances from American acquaintances that things are 'stable' in his home country of Afghanistan, Dhil has the intuition that this is not the case, and that the fragile stack of cards that is a corrupt government is about to come crashing down.
Other viewpoints include Maggie Reed, an American lover of Dhil's, Miriam, another lover, and two of Dhil's friends, Anwar Haq and Alam Gol. Each is connected to the other, and we hear each perspective of this interwoven story. I was very quickly drawn into the lives of these characters. There were no 'heroes' among them. They were average, everyday people trying to survive in harsh circumstances. Some of them did some pretty horrible things, yet I still found myself hoping for the very best for each of them.
The writing is mostly prose, poetic and flowing. It was certainly easy to envision myself as part of the story. A scene near the beginning that I really became drawn into was a vision Maggie had of a long ago battle on the grounds of an old fort site she was visiting. The description was so vivid that I could hear the thunder of hooves and the clash of swords, and see the frenzy of said battle raging around me.
The author, Nasir Shansab, is native Afghani, and I enjoyed the cultural quirks and customs written into Silent Trees. He lived through the historical events portrayed in the book, if not the actual fiction story itself. I cannot imagine going through this. I pray I never need know.