This novel is a complete departure from The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. And yes, in some ways it’s not as utterly brilliant as his previous two, and I’ve come across people who didn’t like it as much, but I thought it was wonderful in a totally different way.
It’s a complex, wide-ranging novel, spanning several countries, families and generations. As always, the stories are centred around Afghanistan and Afghan history, and around families and family relationships.
In some ways, the novel reads like a collection of short stories, and yet they are all linked, some directly, others indirectly, to the central characters, two young siblings, Abdullah and his sister Pari, who are separated at a young age. Their story builds and weaves throughout, as it heads to its emotional conclusion. I was never lost with the various stories, and found it intriguing as I waited to find the connection for each section.
As always Hosseini’s writing is sublime, and he carries off this complex story with ease and grace. Fabulous. And yes, I needed a tissue several times!