Archive for October 2007
I finished this book in two days (as a mum of two very young children and someone in full time employment, this is pretty good going). I found it difficult to put this book down, it was THAT good. It is a story set in Afghanistan and shows the wars of the country, first against Russian oppression, then the Mujahiddin, then the Taliban. It is powerfully written and tells of the suffering of women, because they were women. Characters such as Mariam who have the ‘harami’ title, Laila who we thought would be the stronger of the two. It shows women to be very strong despite all the oppression they face and their strength is highlighted in the choices they make to survive-for example, Laila’s marriage to Rasheed is a survival move. The story has some interesting twists too, Rasheed for example, knowing all along that Aziza is not his. It has a good ending too although I wished Mariam’s end had been different, to prove her mother and society wrong. There were many innocent sufferers in this book, though they come across not as victims. The book reminds us all of the tragedies of war, invasion and terror, whether that comes from external forces, or from those closest and from within. A truly remarkable book.