Raza, a poor orphan trapped in the slums of Pakistan, is sent to a strict madrassah where he meets and falls in love with Perveen. They attempt to flee the city to escape their respective fates but fail. Perveen, pregnant, is sent back to her family, and Raza is sent to Afghanistan to fight as a Taliban solider.
American journalist, Rachael Brown, travels to Afghanistan to cover the political unrest. When she meets Raza for a brief interview, she sees for the first time the true face of the Taliban: poor and desperate young men with nowhere else to go. As the war unfolds, their paths cross again, and each must decide what they owe the other.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
This is a well written book with excellent descriptive narrative. It gives an insight into the lives of young Arabs caught up in the conflict and also the culture of their lives. ~ Renee Glass, NetGalley
Set in the Middle East and focused about two unlikely people in the face of great odds, this novel compares to The Kite Runner and Girls of Riyadh.
https://ronsamulreview.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/entangled-lives.html ~ Rom Samul, Ron Samul Reviews
5/5 Stars. The author gives the reader an inside look at how many of the soldiers that fight for the Taliban are brainwashed and forced into obedience. The story follows Raza, a young Pakistani lad who through poverty and abandonment ends up in a strict madrasah. There he was abused and beaten for any minor misbehaviours. He sees and falls in love with Preveen, and they try unsuccessfully to escape. At 17 he's forced to go to Afghanistan to fight with the Taliban. While there he meets Rachael Brown, a war correspondent, once when she interviews him and once in very different circumstances. Their lives become entwined as the title suggest. Very well written and I recommend reading it, but a word of caution, the incidents of brutality are not for the feint hearted.
~ Margaret Wilkins, NetGalley
My main reason for wanting to read this book was to understand the path to becoming a Taliban soldier. The author accomplishes this, and it’s not a happy road to follow. I found this a very interesting and compelling book about a subject that I’m trying to give a face to. ~ Catherine Thomas , NetGAlley
An emotional read that will keep you thinking and rightly so. The conflicts involving countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan are what we only see and get the view point from the media. We never learn about where the hate comes from and why. Raza, one of the main characters in this story grew up in a madrasa in Pakistan after his mother left. Were the boys at the madrasa were treated badly and became dollars per head to go fight for the Taliban. Most of which didn't understand the war and were hopelessness turned into hate. But not hate targeted towards one individual but a hate in general. Imran Omer's voice is important for us to listen to so that we can truly understand and fight against it. ~ Jude Rabot, NetGalley
A gripping fictional story that could easily be a real account of what happens to survivors of the onslaught of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Told by a reporter who goes to Afghanistan to interview a Taliban soldier captured by American forces, the soldier relays the story of his life while being left behind by his mother, growing up in a madrasa, and losing his child and the woman he loved.
An emotional and at times, heartbreaking read that will keep you thinking. ~ Jill Dobbe , Goodreads
Kudos to Imran Omer – he has the audacity to take the perspective of a Taliban fighter (of course not to absolve him from his crimes, but to shine a light on his perceptions) and to confront Western readers with the historic realities of people living in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Most people in the West (me included) do not know enough about these regions, although some local conflicts have been prompted and shaped by Western politics. Just as Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (in which Kashmir plays an important role), “Entangled Lives” immerses its readers in these conflicts and shows how they affect families over generations........All in all, books like this are extremely important, because they shine a light on historic conflicts Westerners usually don’t know much about (or were you familiar with the recent history of Pakistan?). There is a risk that we grow numb towards the destiny of the people who live in these regions, a destiny that we do not understand because we only see televised bits of it, and Omer is one of the voices who fight against this. ~ Meike, Goodreads
It’s always satisfying when someone does what they say they will do and Roubndfire have done it with this novel. Their claim that. “Put simply we publish great stories” rings true with this work from Imran Omer. His insightful probe into the inner thoughts and beliefs of the Taliban were both informative and alarming and the world is a better place now that they are gone.
Imran blend of cultures, Eastern and Western is seamless and convincing and his character development is well rounded.
This is a novel that leaves more questions than it answers and, to my taste, that is exactly how it should be. Wanting more.
~ Brian Jeffery, NetGalley
With his brilliant novel Entangled Lives, Imran Omer puts a human face on a subject otherwise overwhelmed by propaganda on all sides. In a story as exciting as it is important, as sad as it is hopeful, we can begin to understand the all too human personal tragedies behind a generation of war. ~ Philip Athans, bestselling author
Entangled Lives ignites a fire of curiosity about Omer’s intimately portrayed characters, believably real people in the cultures we read so much about, yet about whom we understand so little. The shifts in narrator conveys the author’s amazing capacity to delve into the mind of a man or woman, entwined in the web of war, unravelling the fear, love, and passion we can grasp universally. A MUST read.
~ Liese Ricketts, photographer and educator.