This novel was truly fantastic. I haven't read "The Kite Runner", so I really didn't have any preconceived notions of the author. I will definitely be checking out "The Kite Runner" and any future work from him, though.
The book interweaves two stories, both about young women in Afghanistan, both in different times, but both with tumultuous lives. First is Mariam, a girl who lives with her single mother because her father doesn't want people to know he had a bastard daughter. He visits her once a week, but it soon dawns on Mariam that she is unloved by her dad. She decides to visit him for herself, and when she returns, all hell breaks lose.
Second is Laila, my personal favorite. Laila is even younger than Mariam, but more fiesty and seemingly more intelligent. She lives with both her parents, goes to school, has a semi-boyfriend, and has friends. Her two brothers are off fighting in the war, though, and she feels as if her mom doesn't take notice of her at all. This doesn't seem like much, but I can't go farther without revealing too much for a first-time reader.
Basically, all I can say is you need to read this book. It's easily attainable, so there's no excuse not to. It's a good amount of pages, but it flies by so quickly it's hard to believe you've read over 400 pages.
I, actually, wasn't really interested at first, but with all the rave reviews from... well, everyone, it was hard not to read it at some point, so I did.
I'm not really going to say much else, because you probably know of all the praise. JUST READ IT! You will most certainly not regret it.
Rating: Five stars
Length: 415 pages (paperback)
Source: Book sale
Other books I've read by this author: This was my first.