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An Eye-Opening Experience
I'm sure I'm not the only troper who had to read this novel for school. That fact alone should have put a damper on this book for me, but it was so enjoyable and thrilling that I had forgotten I wasn't reading it of my own freewill.

Growing up in the USA, I've heard of the struggles in Afghanistan and the horrors of the Taliban but never has anyone taken the time to show me how bad things actually were. Reading the trials these two women go through is heart-breaking and physically made me ache at points but never did it feel over dramatic or like the author was creating woobies for the sake of it(Not to say that Rule of Drama wasn't in full effect). No, these characters are so real and so raw, and they're truly the driving force of the novel. The Afghanistan Civil War is merely a setting to be delved into upon reflection.

By that I mean, when I was reading I was completely enthralled with the story in front of me, but whenever I put the book down I was haunted by the idea that this was real life.

Special mention goes to Mariam's mother who's manipulative, emotionally abusive and all together unsettling. She hit a bit too close to home for me.
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