Reading. Writing. Simply being.
I had heard of girls dressing as boys in order to receive a proper education in Afghanistan, but this novel really touches on much more than that– the dynamics of what being a woman in the country truly means. The story parallels two separate stories of women ancestors trying to beat the odds as women in Kabul. The narration changes between the two, Rahima and Shekiba, telling at times events that brought tears to my eyes. At times the horror was so raw I had to take an extra breath just to get through it. This is another book I recommend. It does take a while to really get going so give it time. As always, quotes to take away:
“The woman had locked the doors and closed the windows, fearful without knowing what it was they were afraid of.”
“The person who doesn’t appreciate the apple, doesn’t appreciate the orchard.”
“This life is difficult. We lose fathers, brothers, mothers, songbirds and pieces of ourselves. Whips strike the innocent, honors go to the guilty, and there is too much loneliness. I would be a fool to pray for my children to escape all of that. Ask for too much and it might actually turn out worse. But I can pray for small things, like fertile fields, a mother’s love, a child’s smile—a life that’s less bitter than sweet.”