Virgie's Staff Pick (May 2014): This book has left me speechless! Where do I even begin? For one thing, this is a book not to be missed! It’s a book to devour, a page turner which I literally could NOT put it down!
The story allows you to view Afghanistan through the eyes of two young girls, related but living in different generations, both born into a male-dominated society that values males and scorns females. Rahima, living in modern day Afghanistan, hopes to figure out how to exist in a society full of constant turmoil, by paying close attention to the story of her great, great grandmother, Shekiba, who lived at the beginning of the 20th century. The chapters alternate between the characters, and one would think the modern day story would have more hope, but both are so parallel. Shekiba is beaten, abused, ridiculed, treated like dirt, given no rights…and so is the modern-day Rahima. It’s an eye-opening look at how very little has changed for women in Afghanistan in 100 years.
The stories of these two girls, turning into women, are brutally painful and disturbing. It’s difficult for me to believe that this way of thinking occurs in the same world I live in!