Author: Suse Coon

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Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 at 10:54 am
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Book Reviews

A Blonde Bengali Wife

A Blonde Bengali Wife is part travel story, part autobiography. Irish pharmacist Anne Hamilton takes herself off to work for 3 months with Service Civil International, a charity which takes volunteers to carry out work projects in areas of deprivation. Anne leaves her husband and friends in post Christmas lethargy to tackle Bangladesh.

She finds herself meeting the most attractive people – or else she just sees the best in everyone – from another white single woman volunteer to the camp organisers and other people who take her in and keep her on the right tracks. Through Anne’s eyes we see the poor and the rich of this amazing and often forgotten country, the corruption, the desperation and the expectations – or lack of them, as the case may be.

It is written with sympathy, and humour and is an inspiration to anyone who has ever wondered, how would I manage, how would I cope if I were to find myself in a similar situation, the only white person, who doesn’t speak the language. Could I cope with the food, the toilets, the squalor, the apparent helplessness of it all?

Anne has returned since then and seen the fruits of her labour. She has also been involved in setting up the charity Bhola’s Garden, which provides home and education for disabled children, whose parents can not care for them. The profits from sales of this book will go to this charity, which is one good reason to buy it. Another is that it is simply a very enjoyable read, with warm, charming characters who will endear themselves to you.

A Blonde Bengali Wife is available here from Amazon

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