My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I read this book on a recommendation as it is not something I would normally choose.
I thought there would be more detail about the war in Afghanistan but am kind of glad there wasn’t. It was there in the background and I did learn a bit about it, how it started and the factions involved but it didn’t take over the book. I did find at the end – the book finishes in 2003 – that it gave the impression that Kabul was peaceful, although there were UN troops there and also that certain “warlords” had been given positions of power. So why in 2009 is it not resolved? (My knowledge of world affairs is VERY limited, I apologise, I’m just not interested in politics at all!)
I felt for the women in the story and the oppression that they suffered. The circumstances of Mariam’s birth affect her throughout her whole life, and she makes many sacrifices. The women’s lives change dramatically depending on who is running the country at the time. Having to completely cover themselves and only leave the house if accompanied by a male relative seems unthinkable to those of us who have such liberty in our lives, and yet a lot of them just accept it as how things are. Mariam and Laila however, do not, and push against the rules to some degree of success in the end, even though they do go through some harrowing life experiences along the way.
I liked it but I wouldn’t say I loved it, but I’m glad that I read something different for a change. Now back to grizzly murders……….!!!