I’ve been wanting to read Kite Runner by the same author, but when this book landed on my hands, by luck, I was only too glad. I think the Kite Runner will follow soon, seeing my mind’s appreciative responses to this book. 🙂
Read the story’s brief here… [link]
For one thing, this book is damn good – fantastically interlaced history and fiction and My God, brilliantly written. My kudos to the author for bringing out such a wonderful book. 🙂
What fantastically strong woman characters, the author has created. With all the difficulties and troubles they faced in the war-filled Kabul, how much they endure. What is it that keeps them going, even when they have an abusing husband and absolutely no freedom to do anything ???
Mariam and Laila, take me by storm with the power to make me laugh, smile, cry, all at the same time perhaps !!!
I am saddened at the injustice to Mariam and her childhood years, but those lovely moments with her father, make me smile.
It upset me terribly to see her getting married to Rasheed, a man who is way older than her. And Mariam is only 15 yrs old.
When he forces himself on her, I cried….OMG, what kind of creature is he !!!!
Mariam lost her baby, not once, so many times, that I cried more than her !!!
How marriage changes a person, especially a woman ??? The words Mariam’s mother speaks to her, hurts her when she was young. But when she is married, she understands and goes through all that her mother told was the truth, like these :
“Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman.”
“There is only one skill a woman like you and me needs in life and they don’t teach it in school – And its this – Endure”
Laila is a happy go girl, totally in love with Tariq, till the fateful day, when the war swallows her parents, her brothers and Tariq too, she fears.
How the war transforms this girl and her dreams – its saddening.
The fight of the Mujaihideen against the Soviets, the entry of Taliban into Kabul are all so much interlinked into this story and the effects of this invasion on the lives of these characters.
The place which shattered me was when Laila undergoes C-Section, without any anesthesia !!!! OMG !!! Just can’t imagine such a thing to happen to any woman. It shows how war affects the livelihood of the people, not only in Afghanistan, anywhere in the world. The sad state of medical supplies, the no importance to women’s hospital requirements by Taliban, is all so gruesome.
When I read the rules issued by the Taliban to the men and women separately, I was angered at the injustice of all.
Women can’t go out without being accompanied by a male relative.
Women cannot show their face.
Cosmetics, jewelry, charming clothes, laughing, painting nails, attending school, going for work are all forbidden.
Women cannot make eye contact with men.
If found guilty, will be severely beaten. If found to have done adultery, the women will be stoned to death.
I was horrified after reading this.
But I liked the ending – it was fab !!! People left Kabul during difficult times, but after the war was over, I appreciate their decision to go back to Kabul. It’s so courageous of them to work and better the conditions of their country, in whatever way they can.
Amazing storyline…not a moment of boring dialogues…fantastic narration…a must read recommendation from me. 🙂
The title of the book refers to a phrase from the poem “Kabul”, by the 17th-century Persian poet Saib-e-Tabrizi.
One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs
And the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls