Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns
By Khaled Hosseini
Published in 2007
Paperback, 367 Pages
5 on 5!

From GoodReads.com,
Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them-in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul-they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman's love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.

After reading Kite Runner, I became an ardent fan of Khaled Hosseini's work. In Kite Runner, the story was touching and one got to see Afghanistan at the time of turmoil and the life of 2 boys, bounded by love and blood. Of course, I was a bit skeptical, about his second book and there was always a fear as to whether his 2nd work will be as good as the 1st one. But what can I say, this one sucked me in from the 1st chapter. I can tell you, the reason for my fear was the blurb. God! It doesn't do any justice to this lovely story... I am glad I picked it up inspite of not finding the blurb interesting.
The story is of Mariam, Laila and such women in the times of war-torn Afghanistan. It is sad... it is horrible! This one will always be a reference book for me, as it gives you a good outlook of the political environment in Afghanistan during the late 80's and early 90's. I never knew so many things about Afghanistan, as I have learned from this one book. How there were equal opportunities for women there as well and how they destroyed the nation and the people mostly women. The only thing that kept many people going was the hope of something better with each invasion.

"I'm sorry," Laila says, marveling at how every Afghan story is marked with death and loss and unimaginable grief. And yet, she sees, people find a way to survive, to go on. Laila thinks of her own life and all that has happened to her, and she is astonished that she too has survived, that she is alive and sitting in this taxi listening to this man's story.
-pg. 350

It is hurtful to see the way women were treated. You could feel the pain, the torture and the hurt that each new regime put down on the women there. Women were once respected and loved there...but then they were ordered not to be out of house at all. This way if they were widows, there was no way they could earn for there children. There was no way they could do anything but die of hunger.

There are men who are loving and not cruel at all but there are those who are just like Taliban.
I can't go on without giving away the story. This book reminds me why I like reading books by authors from other nations. And this one also helped realise, how blessed our life is here.

Lovely writing and great detailing of the life there. If you like multi-cultural fiction, and would like to see the life in Afghanistan till the US and the UN reached there to help them out in the 2000s, you must read this one. Highly recommended!

22 comments:

violetcrush said...

I'm so glad you liked this book. It was a 5/5 for me too. I love how the author has written from womens perpective so beautifully. I'm waiting for his third book, I hope he writes one soon :)

Veens said...

I loved that ! Is there any news he is going to write any in the near future?! I will most definitely pick it up!

violetcrush said...

I don’t know. I guess he should be writing his third book but I get his newsletter and so far there is no mention about it :(

Veens said...

Wicked! He must be on SOMETHING! Lets wait and wait ;)

Meghan said...

I loved this book too. It's hard but really important to read. It really made me feel lucky to live where I do.

Corinne said...

VEENS!! I LOVE the new look! It's fantastic, super chic :) I love when you stop by!

K said...

Liked your review. I really liked this book too. Its one of those that stays with you for a long long time

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

Oh, man. I absolutely loved this book! I also really enjoyed The Kite Runner, but this one was my favorite of the two. I'm eagerly awaiting a new novel from Hosseini.

Jo-Jo said...

This book is definitely one of my favorites so I'm glad you enjoyed it. It certainly made me grateful for all of the freedoms that I am able to enjoy.

Suko said...

I saw the movie The Kite Runner and thought is was very touching. I should probably read this one. The author, Khaled Hosseini, is obviously very gifted in storytelling. Thanks for your review!

Lisa said...

Sounds like I need to get this moved back up to the top of the TBR mountain!

S. Krishna said...

This book made me cry - great review!

softdrink said...

That scene with the rocks and her mouth...yikes! I don't think I'll ever forget that.

Charley said...

I hope to read both The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns soon.

Diane said...

I so loved The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Glad you were pleased with this one as well; great review.

Pratima said...

I told ya in my previous comment that u will love it! ;-) This book is my all time favorite!!

Btw, I am yet to ship your copy of dancing with ana. Sorry for the delay. Have been quite held up!

Melody said...

I've yet to read this, but I'm sure it'd be as good as The Kite Runner!

Stephanie said...

Lovely review! I loved this book, too.

Nina said...

I havent read this book, but my friend has! She told me it's one of her favourites and so good. I need to try and find me a copy asap.
thank you for your review.

Trish said...

I had much of the same emotional feelings as you did reading this one. I think I liked this one better than The Kite Runner and really look forward to seeing what Hosseini will come out with next!

3m said...

Great review, Veens. It was a 5 star read for me as well.

Anna said...

Glad to hear you liked this one. I've been meaning to read it, but haven't yet.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

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