I am a full-time working mother of two children. For me reading is a luxury. So when I state a book was hard to get into at first you have to take that with a grain of salt. I might get to read a page here or there because I know I need to read something to keep my brain functioning.
However, reading happens at the worse times for me. Typically I start reading when I am exhausted, after work, after an evening of being “mom”, and finally after I prep for the next day.
This book was hard to get into at first for another reason. Afghanistan is another world for me. Why should I care about this. It is not my world. I don’t need to learn anything from it to support my daily life and thus I am distant at first. I don’t let it absorb me because it won’t help me get through my day.
Then just as he did in The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini, pulls me into this world and I begin to feel, to understand that this is part of my world and I must listen to it. I begin to feel ashamed for my lack of attention to the politics that surrounded 9/11 and the war we engaged in and the people we affected for better or for worse. Laila and Mariam pull me into their world of religious and cultural injustices to women, the likes of which American women will never know. And yet in the end there is hope as Laila refuses to run from the Kabul of her childhood, despite the horrible existence it gave her for so many years, and returns to Kabul to become part of the healing, the reconstruction.
Khaled Hosseini is a skilled writer, able to draw you into the real world of Afghanistan. I recommend this book for people who want to see behind the news and see the heart of a people that lives, loves, and hopes just like the rest of us.