Why did you choose this book?
This was the group read for our LEI Around the World in 80 Books class. I was not excited about reading it but my opinion changed considerably by the time I was finished.
What’s it about?
This is the story of two women growing up and living in Afghanistan. Mariam is the illegitimate child of a middle-class theater owner, who built her mother a shack in the woods. After a tragedy, her father arranges her marriage to a cobbler named Rasheed. Mariam is barren and Rasheed mistreats her horribly. After a tragic bomb blast, Laila has been orphaned and Miriam nurses her back to health. Rasheed takes her as a wife as well. I won’t say more here at the risk of spoiling the story for you.
Historical fiction, Middle Eastern
Other recommended reads?
The only other fiction works I can think of are Hosseini’s other books. For nonfiction, you might try The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg.
The only words I can use to adequately describe this book: heartbreaking and important. Every time I thought Mariam and Laila could take no more hardship, something else would happen to them. Mariam was always my favorite and I just wished she could find some happiness in her life. I guess in the end, she did.
The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh