Author: Khaled Hosseini
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, War
Book Synopsis: Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed. Nearly two decades later, a friendship grows between Mariam and a local teenager, Laila, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. When the Taliban take over, life becomes a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, and lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism.
Movie Adaptation: (In Development)
Hosseini’s panache for story-telling never fails to touch souls and he has done it again with this second debut novel! A story set in the initial three decades of the war-ridden Afghanistan, with powerful characters whose voice resonates deep within the reader; a masterpiece has been created yet again!
Hosseini weaves up this heartbreaking story about friendship in times of despair. Friendship has always been the main theme of Hosseini’s books (See The Kite Runner).
It will restore your faith in humanity, it’ll make you see the human in humanity; tell you that even in this cruel, cruel world, there are a handful of genuinely good people out there. It will open your eyes to the effect of war, that war is nothing but mindless and selfish; whose triumph may be pompous but results in killing of thousands of innocents, orphans sons and daughters, widows husbands and wives and displaces homes.
There were moments where I had to literally put the book down for a moment and stare blankly at the wall and let the event sink in!
Here’s how it starts:
Mariam was five years old the first time she heard the word harami.
It happened on a Thursday. It must have, because Mariam remembered that she had been restless and preoccupied that day, the way she was only on Thursdays, the day when Jalil visited her at the kolba. To pass the time until the moment that she would see him at last, crossing the knee-high grass in the clearing and waving, Mariam had climbed a chair and taken down her mother’s Chinese tea set. The tea set was the sole relic that Mariam’s mother, Nana, had of her own mother, who had died when Nana was two. Nana cherished each blue-and-white porcelain piece, the graceful curve of the pot’s spout, the hand-painted finches and chrysanthemums, the dragon on the sugar bowl, meant to ward off evil.
It’ll make you re-realize the power of time, that everything is momentary, dynamic. One moment it’s right in front of your eyes, the next moment… poof!
The story is full of suspense; the next chapter would be based on a completely different scenario, on completely different emotions involving the same characters!
If you look back after finishing this book, scan through the book, you will realize the long way each character has come, the long way you have gone through to be the person you are at that specific moment!
Finally, if I haven’t made it clear earlier, I REQUEST you to give it this one a read!
I’d rate it: 4.9/5