Posted in review

Review: Underground Girls of Kabul



  • Title: The Underground Girls of Kabul
  • Author: Jenny Nordberg
  • Pages: 353
  • Genre: Biography
  • Published: September 16, 2014
  • Published By: Broadway Books
  • Edition: Kindle



An investigative journalist uncovers a hidden custom that will transform your understanding of what it means to grow up as a girl

In Afghanistan, a culture ruled almost entirely by men, the birth of a son is cause for celebration and the arrival of a daughter is often mourned as misfortune. A bacha posh (literally translated from Dari as “dressed up like a boy”) is a third kind of child–a girl temporarily raised as a boy and presented as such to the outside world. Jenny Nordberg, the reporter who broke the story of this phenomenon for the New York Times, constructs a powerful and moving account of those secretly living on the other side of a deeply segregated society where women have almost no rights and little freedom.

  • Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

*All these opinions are my own.

**This may contain spoilers.

This was a book that I picked up on a whim. Usually when I get a new book it sits around for a short time before I read it simply because I have some many books to read. This one I started reading right away because the subject caught my attention.

This story takes place place in Afghanistan in 2011 and looks at a hidden custom where a family will disguise a daughter as a boy.

This book started off great. The author talks about how she was introduced to a bacha posh and offered all kinds of information from religion, culture, politics and personal stories to explain why it happens and the different effects it has on the girls who go through it.   The focus of the book shifts to the personal life of the mother of a bacha posh and her struggles as a woman. The book stops talking about bacha posh’s entirely for a few chapters. Then suddenly at the end she brings them back up to close the book.  The side story about the mom was interesting but took away from the main topic.

Overall I enjoyed learning about some new topics but wished there had been more continuity.  Anyone interested in the subject could use this as a starting off point but not much more.



I was a bibliophile before I learned the alphabet. From an early age I have used books to relieve the pressures of reality. I was I teenager before I appreciated the learning power of books. Now, as an adult, I read books for both learning and relaxation.

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