About the Book
Release Date: Originally released October 2010.
Reprinted 3 November 2015
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 rare in the extreme 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.
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,’ 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, 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.
Mostly written like a travelogue but also with elements of humour, romance, adventure and even a bit of mystery, this novel flowed easily and had a pace that matched its topics and the country it is set in. The whole story had an honesty and a vividness about it that drew me straight in. Sometimes I had the feeling that the protagonist Anne – none other than the author herself – was talking straight to me or that I was there with her or maybe reading her diary or watching a documentary about it all. It was fascinating to meet so many people and make so many exotic experiences alongside the protagonist. A lot of it reminded me of Sri Lanka and what I know about India from friends and books. There’s a connection I felt while reading that made things all the more real and touching, a love shining through for the country and its people.
If you enjoy reading about someone’s travels and travails, if you like Asian settings, authentic characters and a book that holds the right mix of entertainment, information and thought-provoking statements, then I can highly recommend “A Blonde Bengali Wife”. Another reason to pick it up: The proceeds from the sales go to the charity organization “Bhola’s Children”.
About the Author
Twitter: @Anne_ABBW & @AnneHamilton7