Date Finished: 31 January 2013
Read the Goodreads description here
I actually had to read this book as a set-work in English this year, so it probably doesn't count as reading it as much as studying it but whatever. If my English teacher REALLY wants my opinion instead of some carefully thought out argument as to why the book shows us a different side of life than we're used to, and then carefully avoiding saying my opinion for fear of being stoned by all the feminists in the classroom, he can read it here.
Firstly, I'll start by praising Khaled Hosseini's beautiful writing style, just because I can. I loved the way he painted such a beautiful picture with his words, and the way he managed to give an otherwise dull and depressing story a whole lot of sparkle. His writing probably contributed to two out of four of the stars I gave this book.
Secondly, onto the storyline. I thought it was mediocre on the whole. Just put down your stones, pitchforks and torches for a second, okay? Let me explain myself. I have absolutely nothing against sad stories; in fact, I live for them. They help me get a grip on reality, and sometimes a good, long cry over a book is not a bad thing. But this book just made me want to slit my wrists and then jump off a twenty storey building. While on fire. And watching Twilight. Really. The thing that really got me was the ending. "Because, if it's a girl, Laila has already named her." I was gone. After holding in my tears in since the first chapter, I had at least 395 pages of sobbing and mentally sending death threats to the writer for making me so sad to catch up on. I don't think I stopped crying for a full hour, and then I realised it was just a book. And then I realised that hundreds of other women had suffered through the same things that Mariam and Laila had. And I was crying again. I think it took me three cups of tea, a bubble bath, and a couple of chapters of books like Obsidian and Hush Hush to make me finally feel slightly less depressed. And it wasn't as if I could just eat a bar of chocolate and get the grief over with, seeing as I gave that up for Lent (dumbest idea ever...), which only seemed to make me even more sad, because there were people in the world who had never even eaten chocolate before and here I was crying over going a week without it when there are people in the world being beaten up by Rasheeds who had probably been locked in rooms with no food or water for days and here I was taking a bubble bath and who am I to deserve food when people are living with people over thirty years older than them and having kids at fifteen while I'm reading -?
And there I go again. So I'll stop before I bore you with any more of my idiotic logic and sad, sad tendency to develop a relationship with characters in books and then somehow develop beliefs that they are real. And I take back my earlier statement about the storyline being mediocre. If it made me cry, it was probably one hell of a book.
Oh, and by the way, Khaled Hosseini, I'll be sending you the bills for the psychiatric help I'll obviously need after reading this beautiful, tragic book that made me want to sob and rip my hair out at the same time. I congratulate you on being the author that finally made me crack.