by Khaled Hosseini
I read this book faster than I read most. Instead of falling asleep as I read before bed, I stayed up late to get to the next chapter, or the next page, always wanting to see what was next. There are so many reasons to love this book. The beautiful writing, the lives woven together to form such an interesting & emotional story, the characters, the setting, the life lessons, all so well done. But, above all of those things, I loved it most because Mamaw chose it for me. I marked the pages each night with her gold seashell bookmark and imagined being able to discuss it with her. But, as in the story, & as in life, time passes and things change, no matter how badly we wish for them to stay the same.
A few of my favorite passages:
"She is furious with herself for her own stupidity. Opening herself up like this, voluntarily, to a lifetime of worry and anguish. It was madness. Sheer lunacy. A spectacularly foolish and baseless faith, against enormous odds, that a world you do not control will not take from you the one thing you cannot bear to lose. Faith that the world will not destroy you. I don't have the heart for this. She actually says this under her breath. I don't have the heart for this. At that moment, she cannot think of a more reckless, irrational thing that choosing to become a parent."
"She sits back in the chair, her shoulders slumping, puts her thin white hands in her lap. She considers for a minute before saying, "Jaurais du etre plus gentille - I should have been more kind. That is something a person will never regret. You will never say to yourself when you are old, Ah, I wish I was not good to that person. You will never think that." For a moment, her face looks stricken. She is like a helpless schoolgirl. "It would not have been so difficult", she says tiredly. "I should have been more kind. I should have been more like you."
"I hold the note tightly against the blustering wind. I read for Pari the three scribbled sentences.
They tell me I must wade into waters, where I will soon drown. Before I march in, I leave this on the shore for you. I pray you find it, sister, so you will know what was in my heart as I went under."
Out beyond ideas
of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.
I'll meet you there.
- Jelaluddin Rumi, 13th century