Customer Reviews for

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe

Average Rating 3.5
( 123 )
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5 Star

(30)

4 Star

(26)

3 Star

(34)

2 Star

(18)

1 Star

(15)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

brave smart female

inspiring story with interesting insights about afghanistan under the taliban. very quick read

posted by 6527159 on March 25, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

16 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

disappointed

I found this book simplistic. I thought it was a true account of women suffefring under the Taliban, but not so sure. I hate books where everything a character does is perfect and on the first try. Subject character in this book learns how to be an excellent tailor i...
I found this book simplistic. I thought it was a true account of women suffefring under the Taliban, but not so sure. I hate books where everything a character does is perfect and on the first try. Subject character in this book learns how to be an excellent tailor in one afternoon of lessons! And then proceeds to just as quickly teach her sisters who become expert also. Amazing. I have done my share of sewing and it isn't that easy.

posted by 3174889 on March 22, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2011

    disappointed

    I found this book simplistic. I thought it was a true account of women suffefring under the Taliban, but not so sure. I hate books where everything a character does is perfect and on the first try. Subject character in this book learns how to be an excellent tailor in one afternoon of lessons! And then proceeds to just as quickly teach her sisters who become expert also. Amazing. I have done my share of sewing and it isn't that easy.

    16 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 28, 2011

    OK book about an interesting topic but overrated as far as literature goes

    I bought this book because of the hype. It was OK but I didn't think that it was all that well written. It left at lot out about the family and how they survived until the main character figured out how to make a living. I felt like there were large gaps in time that were unaccounted for. Nothing about the tedium the women must have felt since they couldn't go any further than the walls of their home except that they read books over and over. It seemed so easy that the materials were obtained--no suspense, no hiding, no close calls. The actual story of a woman who succeeded under the Taliban is incredible and this book publicized that, but the book itself was just OK.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2011

    blah

    The characters were underdeveloped. The storyline was boring. There was nothing that happened in the book that kept you wondering. how does someone become an expert at sewing wedding dresses with two hours of training...are they serious?! If you want an amazing book about Afghanistan during Taliban rule about women survivors read A Thousand Splendid Suns.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2011

    Disappointed

    The story itself is very interesting, but the authors writing style was very elementary and I wasn't able to enjoy reading the book. I didn't feel as if the author felt anything when telling this story and didn't take the time to help the reader get close to the people the story is written about.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2011

    brave smart female

    inspiring story with interesting insights about afghanistan under the taliban. very quick read

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 22, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is a compelling, excellent read that will transport you to a time, a place, and a culture that will keep you riveted to its conclusion.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 7, 2011

    Badly told good story

    This is the worst told good story I've read in a long time. My wife puts it well: I want an author to show me, not tell me. This author fails almost completely to show anything. She tells us how people felt, she tells us what people thought, and frankly she doesn't do that very well. There were so very many opportunities to bring the characters alive, to make them real, to let them speak for themselves about why they did what they did and how they had the courage to do so. Opportunities missed.

    It is a testament to the importance of these women's stories that I finished this book. The writing made me want to quit, but the underlying story made me persist. In the end I am left wanting to know more and to understand more clearly.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2011

    Very interesting. I enjoyed it.

    Well written and interesting. There was never an explanation of how there were customers. It sounded like everyone was struggling to survive so how could they buy so many dresses?

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2012

    Gripping Story!

    As the professional critics would say, "A must read." I could not put this book down & now want more from Gayle Lemmon - soon, please?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2011

    A great book !

    The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is an absorbing story of a young woman who creatively finds a new career when the Taliban occupy her
    neighborhood in Kabul, Afganistan.
    This book is enjoyable & easy to read. The Sidiqi family comes to life on the pages by the author's use of incidents in everyday life-for example a parent's visit to a clinic with a sick child, the challenge of shopping, or taking a bus. Too often we do not hear the stories of the women and how they fared during this time. Lemmon skillfully details the life of women and how they provided for their families.
    The hardships and trials the people endured under the thumb of the extremist & religious Taliban rule are a testament to the courage of the human spirit and strength of family ties.
    If you liked Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea, Stones into Schools) you'll enjoy this book too.
    This is a great read and absouletly an outstanding book !

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2012

    recommended

    this is a story of very strong women and how they find a way to survive

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    An Inspir­ing Story of Coura­geous Women

    The Dress­maker of Khair Khana: Five Sis­ters, One Remark­able Fam­ily, and the Woman Who Risked Every­thing to Keep Them Safe by Gayle Tzemach Lem­mon is a non-fiction book which tells the story of a woman who started a suc­cess­ful dress mak­ing busi­ness under the Tal­iban in Afghanistan. Not only did Kamila Sadiqi pro­vide hon­or­able employ­ment to her fam­ily and female com­mu­nity, but also a ray of hope in an oth­er­wise bleak existence.

    Kamila Sadiqi is an enter­pris­ing young woman. Fear­less, inde­pen­dent and with a sharp mind, Kamila has to find a way to feed her fam­ily under Tal­iban ruled Afghanistan. All the males in Kamila’s fam­ily have either fled, died or too young to be of any con­cern to the Tal­iban she has to find a way to feed her six siblings.

    Kamila starts her own stitch­ing busi­ness, hir­ing local women who are not allowed to work unless they are under the strin­gent reg­u­la­tions which the Tal­iban bru­tally enforces how and where women should work. Using her nat­u­rally given tal­ents Kamila doesn’t only sup­ply work and income for her fam­ily, but for the neigh­bor­hood grow­ing her busi­ness and inspir­ing others.

    The Dress­maker of Khair Khana: Five Sis­ters, One Remark­able Fam­ily, and the Woman Who Risked Every­thing to Keep Them Safe by Gayle Tzemach Lem­mon is a quick read, inter­est­ing and heart­warm­ing book. While short, the book pack­ages a strong story of per­se­ver­ance, fight­ing against the odds, help­ing the com­mu­nity and entre­pre­neur­ship combined.

    This is an inspir­ing story of coura­geous women who are in a dan­ger­ous zone with­out men. The males either had to go away, were impris­oned or died while women were forced to be con­fined to their homes, wear a chadri and had to have a male chap­eron escort them around.

    As some­one who pays atten­tion to the world around him and beyond the two oceans sur­round­ing these United States, I knew about the oppress­ing sit­u­a­tion in Afghanistan pre-9/11, but one aspect that escaped me was the one the author depicted very were. Besides the daily ter­ror of not hav­ing any con­trol over the small aspects of one’s life (like going to the mar­ket or leav­ing your yard), the sheer bore­dom and depres­sion these women felt jumped off the pages.

    The more I read the book, the more admi­ra­tion I felt towards Ms. Sadiqi. Not only because of her busi­ness prowess, but also because she cared about her com­mu­nity and cus­tomers – some­thing I feel we have lost on the US. Ms. Sadiqi pro­vided hon­or­able employ­ment, qual­ity prod­ucts and most impor­tantly, a ray of hope in an oth­er­wise unfor­giv­ing world to many women. The Tal­ibs knew about her busi­ness but turned an eye from it due to her qual­ity, work­ing within the guide­lines and con­tri­bu­tion to Afghan society.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    This was one of the best books I have read since "Three cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson.

    It really helps me to appreciate how lucky I am to live in the Country I do.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2014

    Re Interesting Read...

    They could not afford to make mistakes. If your buisness was on the line and it was the only way you could support your family you would not make mistakes and I am INCREDIBLY sorry if this didnt entertain you because it was too dry or boring but FACE THE TRUTH this is their life not yours and I think that it is incredibly rude that you cant respect that or that you refuse too. I think you need to take a lesson on learning some respect. And I mean ALL of you. Reply to Critic0908

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2013

    Launee

    Wf

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    An okay read if you have some extra time.

    While this is informative regarding a woman's place in Taliban occupied Afghanistan, I feel this book couldn't decide whether to be a documentary or a fact based novel. The characters were not developed enough to have us care, and the information stopped short of being fully explained/revealed. However, it did contain some information I was not aware of, and I did have admiration for the determination of the main character. If you have some extra time, this book is an okay read.

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  • Posted August 31, 2012

    Don't bother. Interesting subject but reads as though written b

    Don't bother. Interesting subject but reads as though written by an 11 year old. The dialogue is shallow and contrived. If this is supposed to be a children's book it should be marketed as such.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2012

    Disappointing

    Disappointing

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2012

    Cool fact but I need more

    Jbyygxgcyjjhx

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  • Posted May 31, 2012

    This was an interesting read just because I love to sew. I didn'

    This was an interesting read just because I love to sew. I didn't give it a 5 because it didn't seem too realistic. She would teach someone how to sew a dress in an afternoon? I'm sorry but it takes practice.... I sew a lot of clothes and it takes many tries to perfect a dress that can be sold for money. She could have made it entertaining by allowing the girls to make mistakes...like maybe sewing on a sleeve backwards or maybe making one sleeve longer than the other. Also, when she went to the shop to try to sell her dresses it was victory right away..I wonder if that is really how it happened or if the author just didn't want to go into detail on how hard it was to get her business started. It that were true and it was that easy to get a business going then everyone would do it therefore takes away how talented this main character was.

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