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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was compelled to read this book after Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner.
What Hosseini described in this book, happens to so many women in this part of the world. I’m sad how eve is disgraced day after day. This book was distressing, and many times during the narrative, it made me cry.
The story is set in war time in Afghanistan and shows the life of two very different women, brought together through fate. Mariam, the illegitimate child of a rich and famous man of Herat, spends all her childhood waiting for her father to visit her every week. Truth opens before her eyes when one day she visits him in his big house in Herat. She finds that for her father, she is nothing more than a mistake he is embarrassed of. Sadly, there is no place to go back to for her when her mother passes away. Fourteen year old Mariam is married off to a forty year old man, Rashid.
Laila is a beautiful girl whose father has big dreams for her. He wants her to be a well educated lady who may serve her country when she grows up. All aspiring dreams for little Laila are dashed to pieces when her parents are killed in a rocket launcher attack that destroys her home and her life. She has nowhere to go, so she is forced to marry the man next door, Rashid, now a sixty year old.
Things change when Mariam and Laila find happiness together in a life apparently thawed by pain and misfortune. The author shows what it’s like to be a woman; the courage, strength and resilience that only a woman can show against the odds of life. A highly recommended book if you like reading books on Afghani history, more so if you are a woman. Grab this one off your favorite book store. It’s a beautiful tribute to the women of Afghanistan. Let’s celebrate being a woman!