A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
A Thousand Splendid Suns tells the story of Laila and Mariam, two women of different generations and different upbringings, brought together by culture, war, and fate. Their stories take place spread over 30 years…set during the major political and social upheaval of Afghanistan’s recent history.
Laila and Mariam develop a very strong and unique relationship that starts reluctantly due to very tragic circumstances. What develops between them is part friendship, part mother/daughter love, and part survival.
At a time and place when women are seen as less than second class citizens, Laila and Mariam are forced to rely on each other for safety, sanity, and survival…for life both outside and inside their shared home.
“Learn this now and learn this well. Like a compass facing North, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. Always.”
As with The Kite Runner, I know I’m likely kind of late to the game at reading this. But just in case you happen to be one of the rare few who haven’t yet read this book, you need to. I’m a huge fan of Historical Fiction…it may just be my favorite genre to read. And while this definitely qualifies as such, there is quite a bit I learned about Afghanistan’s recent history, this novel is about so much more than that. This wonderfully written novel is deep, thought provoking, maddening, heart wrenching, and beautiful all at the same time. A Thousand Splendid Suns sheds light on the plight of the Afghani people as a whole, but mostly on the women and their brutally controlled lives they were forced to live under the Taliban regime. It’s a story of strength, courage, and love. Much like The Kite Runner, it highlights the beauty of the human spirit even during times of complete despair, loss and hopelessness.
I simply cannot say enough about this book and how much I absolutely loved it! It’s definitely moving straight into my “favorites” folder and will be one I recommend over and over. Part of the reason I think I am such a fan of historical fiction, is that I find it helps to give me some perspective on life. Perspective to better understand people of other cultures, generations, and backgrounds. Perspective to better appreciate he safety, security and relative ease of life that so many of us (myself included) born in the United States in today’s age, take for granted. A Thousand Splendid Suns is a rich & haunting story with characters that will likely remain with me for a long time.
My Review: 5/5 Stars