A story of intense beauty and strength buried under the surface of the cruel life imposed upon two Afghani women.
A Thousands Splendid Suns, a staggeringly beautiful, outstanding, sad, deep, dark and infuriating novel. I started this books with great expectations and it certainly lived up to all the hype about it.
The story revolves around two women, Mariam and Laila, growing up with 20 years age difference with two different lives that are entwined through the events of the novel. It starts with Mariam who is the illegitimate daughter of wealthy merchant named Jalil who has 3 wives and 9 other children. Mariam grew up with her bitter and often cruel mother, while her dad visited once a week, she always longed for more.
“She remembered Nana saying once that each snowflake was a sigh heaved by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the world. That all the sighs drifted up the sky, gathered into the clouds, then broke into tiny pieces that fell silently on the people below. As a reminder of how people like us suffer, she’s said. How quietly we endure all that falls upon us”
The other main character is Laila who lives at the same place as Mariam. Her story begins with her innocent and close friendship with a boy named Tariq. Starting this other part of the novel, Hosseini shows how different people perspective really are even if they live in the same place. He showed how Mariam who was married when she was only fifteen to a cruel, ignorant man, was like. Mariam was never allowed to get an education whereas Laila’s father insisted she get her education and to be an open-minded young woman. “I know you’re still young but I want you to understand and learn this now. Marriage can wait, education cannot. And I also know that when this war is over Afghanistan is going to need you as much as its men, maybe even more. Because a society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated. No chance.”
Now not being knowledgeable enough about Afghanistan’s culture, this book shows the horrors and terrors that these women had to endure during a certain period of Afghanistan’s history. It showed how the country came to what it is right now.
Khalid Hosseini definitely outdid himself in this masterful novel, You would think after The Kite Runner that he had raised the bar so high for himself that he wouldn’t be able to write another spectacular novel. Hosseini’s writing is just so gorgeous and beautiful, it made me fall in love with each word and each character. He wanted us to live this story and I definitely rode along with Mariam and Laila’s journey.
Such a gripping and fantastic book, I give it all the stars in the world and more. Now I’m just trying to get over my book hangover, stop crying and face reality.
Review by: Nadeen Eladly