This is a long overdue post which has been sitting in my drafts for days, apologies for that but I’ve been really busy recently with mock exams which were not the best but meh, what can you do. hope you’ve all been having a good start to January, we’re already 13 days in! back to the actual topic of this post; the review, here we go!
So I had heard a lot about this book before even beginning to read it and everyone I know who has read it said it was amazing and really moving. I read the synopsis and immediately I felt a connection with the story, I don’t know what it is about books related to the middle east and it’s cultures but I’m so interested in the way of life there and the cultural differences.
So I started to read it and within 3 days I was finished reading it completely, I quite literally could not put it down. I found myself thinking about the characters and what was going on in the story all the time and at every available opportunity I would read it and become immersed in the mini world Hosseini has created within the pages.
I found myself taken away to Herat and Kabul, I could visualise perfectly the women in full body veils and the children running through tightly packed streets. I found myself crying when the characters were dealing with losses and it felt and still feels like I know them personally, this is a book in which you truly become attached to the characters and their lives. I really enjoyed having a glimpse into what life is like for some women in Afghanistan and the personal and wider struggles they face. The fact that some original language and non translation words were used was so cool I thought as despite not knowing specifically what they mean at the start you pick it up eventually. The political and religious backdrop to the whole novel was also really interesting and given the troubled history gives a real insight into an average persons perspective as opposed to the scenes you see on the news.
My favourite character would have to be Mariam, I was immediately drawn to her because of her vulnerability and optimism at the beginning of the novel when we get to see the world through her eyes as a child. I found myself relating to her naiveté and even as the story develops and she gets older, you see her change there is the same peaceful way about her character which is indescribable almost. She is someone I’d imagine to be a really good friend and listener, someone old beyond their years.
The characters and their relationships within the book are so well woven, no single character is without their own faults or misjudgements but you love them despite this. Even the antagonist Rashid is not completely without humanity, which makes it hard to reconcile his later actions but gives him another dimension. I get the impression that as much as the novel is about the story at hand it’s about the consequences of choices and things out of human control like fate. The fierce friendship that develops between Laila and Mariam was another high point of the book, it is so believable and as a reader the scenes they share always made me smile and it was especially heartfelt to me as despite their situation they manage to make a genuine bond.
I don’t want to leave any spoilers or give away too much because it would ruin the twists and turns the novel has but the ending truly left me satisfied. It was totally unpredictable and admittedly while it made me cry ( A LOT ) it was also a really fitting and beautiful way to end the journey.
Hope you enjoyed this somewhat rambly review and hope it encouraged you somewhat to read the book yourself ! 10/10 would recommend, it was beyond amazing. One of those books I would recommend reading accompanied with a cup of tea and a comfy blanket, as I did haha.
Until next time, Rumaanah