I don't believe it. The man is a genius. I have a hard time believing that there is any book out there that could possibly be better than The Kite Runner, but I think he's done it!!
I read this book in about two days. Slept terrible last night, wondering what on earth would become of Mariam and Laila (both names I LOVE, by the way!) This is a book that could be consumed in one sitting, except for the enormously heavy emotional toll it takes. I, not given to crying over books, cried three times in the course of this book. Last night, lying in bed, I just couldn't believe that in the 1990's, when I was driving around in my convertible with loud music, dating guys and making a lot of money -- women, somewhere in the world, were being treated like this. I'm ashamed of my lighthearted levity concerning my privileges. That's what this book does to you.
Yeah, it's fiction. But don't kid yourself. There's probably a thousand women who could tell Mariam or Laila's exact story, only it's the truth. Khaled Hosseini makes you hold your breath, gasp, cry ... he makes you want to quit your job and go work for the Red Cross or something.
One of the things I loved about the Kite Runner, and can also be said for this book -- it's like getting an education without reading a textbook. Hosseini is great at weaving details about the Afghan region into the narrative in ways that are not cumbersome or preachy.
I know this review is all over the place. It's because I'm stunned. This is truly a masterpiece. And I wouldn't be surprised if Hosseini has more in him. I can hardly wait to find out.