Author: Khaled Hosseini
I bought this book for my book club and decided to dive into it while I was self-isolating due to Covid. It starts out as a story about Abdullah and his little sister, Pari. However, the story soon expands to tell us more about their uncle Nabi and his life working as a chauffeur for Mr Wahdati. From a tale of sibling bonds and two siblings torn apart, the other characters in the book unfurl like a flower opening its petals. Filled with descriptive prose, the pages transport you from the dusty bowl of Maidan Sabz where the story begins to the busy streets of Kabul, and eventually the romantic setting of Paris, San Francisco and the Greek islands.
For me, it was a book about love in so many forms. Sibling love, the love between a parent and a child, unrequited love, forbidden love, passionate love, unselfish love and a yearning for … something you forgot that you lost.
In terms of the characters, I felt like I wanted to shout to Pari to remind her of what she had forgotten but I also wondered if maybe it was part of the mind’s response to a huge trauma. To bury the memory that is so painful, your mind can only bear to have it sit on the edge of your sub-conscious – still there but safely out of reach. How many of us have done something similar when dealing with our own traumas?
Oh and yes, after I read the book, I did call my own brother for a long chat. In fact, we started chatting every day, which has been really lovely.
Rating : *****
***** – Highly recommended
**** – A good, entertaining read.
*** – You might enjoy it, but it was not for me.
** – I only finished it because I can’t bear to leave books unfinished.