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 non-fiction, yet it reads like a novel. This story takes us into an often overlooked, closeup view to see how life of women in Kabul changed overnight when the Taliban seized control.
When her father and brother flee the city, Kamila Sidiqi assumed the daunting task of becoming the breadwinner for herself and her siblings. Kamila’s teaching degree was all but useless, so she picked up a needle and thread and created a dressmaking business. We are given a chance to view the the daily lives of women in Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban, and see their fears and their incredible strength.
First with the help of her family and later her neighbors and other women, she formed a factory and mentorship and a sisterhood equally as important for their emotional survival as their physical.
Reporter Gayle Tzemach Lemmon spent years gathering this information, following the family’s successes and challenges and forming a friendship that leaps off the page. It’s an inspiring story and one I highly recommend for readers of all ages.