Wednesday, April 4, 2012

TLC Book Tour Stop: The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Title: The Dressmaker of Khair Khana
Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Publisher: Harper
Publish Date: March 1, 2011
Source: TLC Book Tours

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You like true stories that read like fantastic fiction.
  • You like strong women characters and you're all about girl power.
What's the Story?:

From "For fans of "Three Cups of Tea, The Dressmaker of Khair Khana," written by a former reporter for ABC News, tells the story of a fearless young entrepreneur who brought hope to the lives of dozens of women in war-torn Afghanistan."

My Two Cents: 

Most of what we hear in America about Afghanistan is limited mainly to what is going on in the war. We hear very few stories about the individual people that still call Afghanistan home with all of the turmoil within the country. The Dressmaker of Khair Khana does just that. Kamila and her four sisters find their country changing rapidly. Where once woman had freedom, the Taliban is taking it away sometimes quicker than it takes to change course.

Even though they are watching the woman of their country being increasingly repressed, Kamila gets her sisters to consider making dresses that they can sell in order to keep their family afloat. Not only that but she starts a sewing school to teach other women how to sew so they can support their families. And oh yeah, Kamila is just a teenager at the time. I guess I was really shocked by Kamila's young age! I know that at her age, I would have been too scared to stand up and take control the way that she did. She's oh so young and yet she's willing to take these incredible risks in order to keep her family stable and together. It's really amazing.

Even with the huge threat that the family faces at the hands of the Taliban if the Taliban ever found out that the women were selling dresses, the entire family devotes their lives to making clothes for the women in their city. The sisters do this even as they watch the Taliban beat their fellow women in the street. To say that the sisters are taking a great risk is an understatement. It makes it even more amazing that this is a true story! This is a really good book for those that love rooting for book characters. These sisters are the very definition of girl power.

It's stories like these that I wish we heard more of! Lemmon does a really good job of telling the sisters' amazing story in a way that absolutely enthralled me. I had to keep reminding myself that the book was based on a true story!

Bottom line: This is a great book about women's issues around the world!

Don't Forget to Follow the Rest of the Tour:

Tuesday, March 20th: Seaside Book Nook
Wednesday, March 21st: EmSun
Tuesday, March 27th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Wednesday, March 28th: Knitting and Sundries
Thursday, March 29th: sidewalk shoes
Monday, April 2nd: Book Snob
Tuesday, April 3rd: Brandi Reads
Wednesday, April 4th: A Bookish Affair
Thursday, April 5th: Man of La Book
Monday, April 9th: Book Club Classics!
Tuesday, April 10th: Wordsmithonia
Wednesday, April 11th: A Bookish Way of Life
Thursday, April 12th: Lit and Life
Monday, April 16th: Broken Teepee
Tuesday, April 17th: Library of Clean Reads
Thursday, April 19th: BookNAround
TBD: Melody & Words

Critical Links for Gayle Tzemach Lemmon:


  1. The fact that you gave it such a high rating tells me I will enjoy this book. It sounds very interesting, I am adding it to my TBR list!

  2. The resilience of women like the one in this book always amaze me! I love reading about women's issues and girl power so I'd probably love this one!

  3. Wow! I've seen this book around a lot but hadn't decided if I want to read it. But your review is great. The book sounds interesting...and maybe a little scary. I'm adding it to TBR!

  4. I have this one on my tbr list, and I think I need to move it up. This sounds like a book I would love.

  5. I've seen this book around but this is the first time I've read a review about it. Based on your praise, I think I'm going to recommend it to my book club (we love our women's issue books)!

  6. Sounds like a very interesting story! I don't think I've read any books set in Afghanistan (or the Middle East, actually) -- must change that. I just read my first book set in Africa and really enjoyed hearing about completely new customs and traditions.

  7. Wonderful to read your comments and your review. And for those book club folks, please do come to my Web site and find the book club guide. And write to me via the site if you have additional questions/comments. Resilience and inspiration and what we each do for those we love were the themes that inspired me to write this book. It is set in Afghanistan, but is really a celebration of perseverance and determination, wherever we are in the world.
    My very best,
    Gayle Lemmon

  8. These are the kinds of stories that really stick with me over time, and make me think about them again and again.

    I'm glad you enjoyed this one. Thanks for being on the tour!

  9. This is the latest in a string of inspiring and heartwarming true stories about how determination and the human spirit can literally triumph over adversity and change hundreds or thousands of lives. (Think Three Cups of Tea and its sequel.) On that level, it works well. It offers a fascinating and sometimes horrifying look at life under the Taliban, who for the most part are every bit as brutal, ignorant and fanatical as they've been depicted elsewhere. The title character, Kamela Sidiqi, is clearly a remarkable woman, and one can't help but be filled with admiration for all she achieved, particularly considering how young she was when she started the dressmaking business that sustained her family and many of her neighbors during the dark years of Taliban rule in Afghanistan. I couldn't help wondering if it has been optioned for a movie because in the right hands, it would make an incredible film.

    1. I fully agree! I would love to see a film based on this book!


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