Friday, 12 February 2016

A Blonde Bengali Wife by Anne Hamilton
Release Date: Oct 2010 / Reprinted 3rd November 2015
Genres: Travel Memoir

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.

Let me start off by saying that this is not the usual type of book I would have read. So, as you can imagine I was a bit dubious about reviewing it. But, being open minded to new reading experiences I wanted to give it a go. And, I am so glad I did! I loved it! 

Anne Hamilton has captured the essence and character of a country and its people to the point where at times I swear I could smell the smells and hear the sounds of this fascinating place! The writing style is humorous but serious where it needed to be. During the opening chapters I kept wondering if Anne Hamilton was truly mad going to Bangladesh on her own! I struggle going to places in the UK on my own! Anne has truly inspired me and although I know I'll never have the opportunity to travel to too many far flung places, I'll remember her bravery! One can't help but admire her tenacity throughout the book. I kinda feel I was there with her now!

At the beginning of the book Anne has just arrived and is met by a throng of people. The most notable for me was the lovely policeman who has really given a whole new meaning to I LOVE YOU! That really was one of many laugh out loud moments when reading this book. Although written as a travel memoir, this book is so much more than that. Anne's love for the people of Bangladesh is evident throughout and the love affair she has with this fascinating place just jumps off the pages. Highly recommended!

PLEASE NOTE: All proceeds of this book are donated to the charity Bhola's Children. 

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Anne Hamilton wrote A Blonde Bengali Wife after she fell in love with Bangladesh on her first (of many) visits there. The travelogue inspired the charity, Bhola’s Children, and continues to support it. Before she became a full time writer, editor and tutor, Anne’s career was in social work and community health – which led to many of her earlier international travels.  Anne can never quite decide if she comes from the East of England or the West of Ireland, so she compromises by living in Scotland, with her small son; they still travel when they can. Anne has a PhD in Creative writing from the University of Glasgow, and is the editor of local online magazine, Lothian Life. She is currently revising and seeking representation for her first novel, Chasing Elena, and working on her second.

Twitter:        @Anne_ABBW     & @AnneHamilton7

One Response so far.

  1. Anne says:

    Thanks for such a lovely review, Debbie! And, indeed, for organising a wonderful blog tour! Anne

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