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A House Without Windows Audiobook

A House Without Windows: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

A vivid, unforgettable story of an unlikely sisterhood - an emotionally powerful and haunting tale of friendship that illuminates the plight of women in a traditional culture from the author of the best-selling The Pearl That Broke Its Shell and When the Moon Is Low.

For two decades Zeba was a loving wife, a patient mother, and a peaceful villager. But her quiet life is shattered when her husband, Kamal, is found brutally murdered with a hatchet in the courtyard of their home. Nearly catatonic with shock, Zeba is unable to account for her whereabouts at the time of his death. Her children swear their mother could not have committed such a heinous act. Kamal's family is sure she did and demands justice.

Barely escaping a vengeful mob, Zeba is arrested and jailed. As Zeba awaits trial, she meets a group of women whose own misfortunes have also led them to these bleak cells: 30-year-old Nafisa, imprisoned to protect her from an honor killing; 25-year-old Latifa, who ran away from home with her teenage sister but now stays in the prison because it is safe shelter; and 19-year-old Mezhgan, pregnant and unmarried, waiting for her lover's family to ask for her hand in marriage. Is Zeba a cold-blooded killer, these young women wonder, or has she been imprisoned, as they have been, for breaking some social rule? For these women the prison is both a haven and a punishment. Removed from the harsh and unforgiving world outside, they form a lively and indelible sisterhood.

Into this closed world comes Yusuf, Zeba's Afghan-born, American-raised lawyer, whose commitment to human rights and desire to help his motherland have brought him back. With the fate of this seemingly ordinary housewife in his hands, Yusuf discovers that, like Afghanistan itself, his client may not be at all what he imagines.

A moving look at the lives of modern Afghan women, A House Without Windows is astonishing, frightening, and triumphant.

©2016 Nadia Hashimi (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (3 )
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4.7 (3 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Hanne Rungsted Kyst, Denmark 20/08/2016
    Hanne Rungsted Kyst, Denmark 20/08/2016 Member Since 2013

    Denmark

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book"

    This is an absolutely great story - a fantastic book. It is so well written and in such a beautiful language.
    Zeba is accused for having murdered her husband. Slowly steep by steep it is revealed what happend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • chrisa
    25/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "For the want of the right reader"

    Story lost integrity and impact because of reader. First, american accent of the reader caused book to lose its authenticity. Second , she read the story as if she was reading to children the fairy tale of the Three Little Pigs. Interesting subject matter, however,, it
    lacked sophistication.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • brian przywojski
    16/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Story, poor reading"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A House Without Windows to be better than the print version?

    I wished I had read it in print. I really didn't enjoy the narrator, who sounded like she was reading a children's book to small children. This seriously contrasted with some of the darker themes that the author was addressing.


    What didn’t you like about Ariana Delawari and Susan Nezami ’s performance?

    Her childish narration diminished the depth of the female characters. Her reading of the protagonist's mother made her sound like a evil hissing snake, which is not at all how I imagined this character. She made the other female prisoners sound ridiculous and silly. It was distracting.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, the story is good, and there are several cliffhangers


    Any additional comments?

    I love Nadia Hashimi's novels. This one was a fascinating exploration of culture, history, and women's rights in Afganistan, like her other novels. The House Without Windows focused on the justice system.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Courtney Ozgunay
    11/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Intriguing topic/performer was wrong for the book"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    This book tended to ramble more than her previous works. I found it hard to keep up with what was happening at times. The story would be on one topic and spiral with a character to something else entirely. It didn't move between plots as well as Nadia's other books.


    If you’ve listened to books by Nadia Hashimi before, how does this one compare?

    I love love loved the Pearl That Broke Its Shell. It was fantastic and I highly recommend it to anyone. I couldn't stop listening to it. I immediately listened to her other works, including the young adult accompaniment to Pearl. They were all good. This one however, while I expected to really enjoy wasn't as good. The story just sort of spun all over - plot lines seemed disconnected. I also thought the true identity of the Mullah was just too convenient. There were times in conversations that I couldn't tell who was talking (could have been the performance). Overall, while I am glad I read it and the topic is interesting, it just wasnt as good as Pearl or Moon.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Ariana Delawari and Susan Nezami ?

    Possibly - I just don't think the main narrator was the right choice. Her voice sounded too young. It was the same narrator from the young adult book, so the whole time the voice associated with a teenager. She did not do the different characters well in unique tones or consistently; it was tough to know who was talking at times. A more mature voice, and one with an Afghan accent would have been better for this story. Or it could have been done with multiple narrators. She did well with One Half from the East; this was not a good match between story and narrator.<br/><br/>Atossa Leoni - who performed 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' did a fantastic job and would have been a good choice for this story. As would either of the 2 prior female narrators for the authors other books.


    Do you think A House Without Windows needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    It could - but rather than focus on Zeba, I would focus on Yusef and the other women imprisoned at the jail. I think there are many more stories there that could be told.


    Any additional comments?

    In past books, it would shift between characters very distinctly to give perspective/angles on the story. This one seemed more to ramble/spiral more and there were times when I couldn't tell what the point was of the context...what it was leading towards. The topic was interesting, but I was not as hooked on the story as much as in her past novels. The performance also impacted the enjoyment of this book unfortunately. I will definitely read further books from Nadia Hashimi - I love learning these stories from Afghanistan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kayla
    Cincinnati, OH, United States
    23/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Book is so-so, narrator is horrible "

    From the unrealistic dialogue between characters to the robotic narration, this book was extremely difficult to wade through. While I usually enjoy getting a glimpse into different countries and their cultures, this book feels like it's written by an American who visited Afghanistan and is pretending to know what Afghani culture is like. None of the characters are well developed, every situation seemed trite and cliché.... Even to the point of throwing in a hint of a romantic interest for our "hero" at the very end in the form of an independent, educated female reporter who seems to have zero influence to the storyline. I rolled my eyes continuously throughout the entire book.
    The narrator sounded like she was in a 5th grade play.... Pausing in the middle of sentences, emphasizing the wrong syllables, monotone in some places, high pitched and whiny in others. If not for the awful performance, I'd give this book a 2 1/2. With the performance, I'm being generous by giving it a 2....I was extremely happy for it to be over.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shery
    austell, GA, United States
    23/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "True"

    So beautiful presents the culture & women's rights in Afghanistan, an ugly TRUTH.
    Excellent !
    Enjoy every seconds of it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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