Mariam is bound to marriage with Rasheed. At fifteen, all she knows is that she will be married to a man she’s never met and doesn’t love. Her life is now nothing more than her marriage to him.
Laila is an educated young girl, full of life and ready to see more of the world. Her life is privileged with the Soviet rule as she is among the generation of girls who can go to school.
Then, the war breaks out and both of their lives change drastically.
As the last book I read for my World Literature class in my second semester of college, I thought that this was a really great way to wrap up the reading portion of the course. Not only was this the longest book we read, this ended up bringing about some of the most interesting discussions.
I’d never read a Khaled Hosseini book until this course, and after reading this book, I can see why so many teachers want to use his work in their classes. Not only will I be reading his other two books, I’ll be looking out for more of his work.
To say that this book affected me is only to scratch the surface. This book did so many things for me as a reader, a writer, a student, and a person. I learned so much more than I thought was possible, and there’s no way to describe it. There’s just something about the way that he writes – it’s so real and so true – that makes you think about things you would never have thought of before. He challenges you to look a the world differently and think about the privilege that you have, all by showing you how real life is.
There is nothing bad for me to say about this book because I don’t think I could ask for anything about it to be different. Making it different might change it’s ability to speak to people by affecting their lives. And I think that this is one of the few books I’ve read in my life that I think is absolutely perfect.
The characters in this book are so real, so engaging. I have read plenty of other books that have characters like that, but there was something about the characters in Khaled Hosseini’s books that made it feel like I was sitting there and watching their lives happen. It was like hovering in their world and being able to see it, but not being able to interact with them or do anything to help them when bad things happen.
I loved this book so much. I think everyone should read it because it really changes you. People say that about books, but I believe that it’s true with this one. It may be hard, but please, if you get the chance, pick this up and read it.
Mariam might have become one of my favorite characters ever, not because she’s particularly smart or beautiful, but because she survived a hard life and found a way to make the most out of it.
Laila inspires me to do so much more. She inspires me to be everything that I want to be and to make good changes in the world that will actually be able to help someone out there.
5 stars. I would DEFINITELY recommend this if you’ve ever thought about picking this up. This might be my favorite book of the year, and I think everyone should read it.