My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I didn’t read anything about this book prior to starting it- I picked it up purely because I’m a huge Khaled Hosseini fan, and I’ve been waiting for this one to be released. This book delivers the same hauntingly rich characters, blanketed with “a thousand tragedies per square mile,” as his two previous novels. Unlike the other two, this one is told from several different perspectives- a new voice for each chapter, spanning decades and traveling across the world. The bones of the story are strung loosely together by a tragic separation of a brother and sister. Organizing the book with so many different voices is a very risky move for an author- one that will either tank the reviews or launch the author onto (or BACK onto, as in Khaled Hosseini’s case) the best seller’s list. I think this will turn out to be the latter.
It would have helped me going in if I had known that there wasn’t always a link between all the characters, so that’s why I’m bringing it up in my review. That being said, each branch of the story left its mark on me and I found myself thinking of characters even when I wasn’t reading the book. The richness Hosseini weaves into their lives, the heartache, the perseverance, the humanity- leaves me in awe. He is able to capture moments and describe them with tangible authority. I love the bits of history strung through the account, and seeing how people react to their challenges.
I was going to share my favorite of the different stories, but I can’t pick just one. If you’re looking for a book that will challenge your assumptions, deepen your humanity and expand your view of the world, you will love this book. A story touching more than a generation and more than one region, this book will find a way to captivate you.