The Story Behind the Book
  • "Hamilton’s warmth toward her characters leads us to hope they will be granted reconciliation and renewal, and in some cases they are. But her elegantly wrought prose conveys terror as well as tenderness, and she cannot be false to Afghanistan's history by suggesting peace will come easily, or to everyone. She can only show us, with compassion and insight, people trying to behave honorably in terrible circumstances."
  • "What Changes Everything helps illuminate what we often only see from a distance: the challenges of making peace with the past when the wages of war are still being paid in the present.”
  • "What Changes Everything is a powerful missive about the way we’re interconnected and how things half a world away can "slip into your peaceful lungs, changing everything.” Novels that keep readers up at night flipping pages to find out what happened are rarely peopled with such strong and memorable characters and such affecting language. This is one soars as it educates the reader. Who could ask for more? Rating: 5 stars”
  • "As real and immediate as a racing pulse, Hamilton’s dark jewel of a novel turns the political into the personal with a blazing tapestry of characters, all grappling with the terrifying cost of war and the unbreakable bonds of love. Thrilling and magnificent."
    —Caroline Leavitt, New York Times best-selling author of Pictures of You
  • "Quite simply stunning. Everyone once in a while, a book comes along that makes you want to wrest even your own work from readers’ hands and command that they read this instead. Masha Hamilton’s What Changes Everything is that kind of amazing. Masha knows the surreal world that is present-day Afghanistan firsthand, and she delivers the grief and love that world spills into our own with pace, grace and—perhaps most surprisingly—humor. I held my breath through a kidnapping, and at a women stepping beyond the boundaries allowed them, into the kind of danger that is necessary for change. I fell in love, improbably, with an Afghan aide-turned-negotiator and an American wielding spray paint in dark places on dark nights. I at turn laughed and cried at a mother’s attempts through letters to gain her son’s death the attention it deserves. In the end, I felt I understood some truth I had not brought with me to the book, and I felt uplifted and hopeful that writing like this might, in fact, be a step toward changing everything."
    —Meg Waite Clayton, bestselling author of The Four Ms. Bradwells, The Wednesday Sisters and The Language of Light
  • "Straddling two lands while depicting the strength of human relationships even in the darkest moments, this seamless blend of fact and fiction through illuminating prose makes the story a rewarding and thought-provoking read."
  • “Masha Hamilton is a fearless writer…What Changes Everything is as innovative, arresting, gritty, relevant and personal as the cover suggests."
  • “Hamilton's descriptions are vivid, especially when portraying the tension and uncertainty that families of political prisoners endure. Fans of topical fiction will appreciate this knowledgeable and nuanced view of the Afghan war.”
    Library Journal
  • "Intensely gripping and beautifully written, What Changes Everything shows the lengths we will go to save each other and ourselves. A stunning collage of loss, grief, love, and most of all, survival, Hamilton’s characters—and their stories—are richly drawn and achingly real."
    —Jillian Cantor, author of Margot
  • "What Changes Everything shows us the dance of war in all its heartbreaking details, weaving into the most secret places in the human heart. Her story shows what we lose in war, and how we get to the other side of survival. Masha Hamilton is such a gifted writer."
    —Laura Fitzgerald, author of Dreaming in English
  • "What Changes Everything is a beautifully woven, multi-faceted novel full of womanly wisdom and hard, human truth."
Photo by Cheney Hamilton Orr