Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

To give you an impression of how good this book was, I got off the bus yesterday and couldn’t close the book. I walked to my car still reading, with an occasional glance at the ground to make sure I wasn’t going to trip or get run over. I didn’t even want to stop reading long enough to drive the one mile home. I actually contemplated if there was a way I could read all the way home and not wreck. (You’ll be happy to know I decided this wasn’t possible.)

A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini, is the story of two women who grow up in Afganistan. One is Mariam, the bastard child of a rich businessman with three wives and his former housekeeper, the other is Laila, the daughter of a progressive school teacher and his wife, born 19 years later. Their lives eventually intertwine, and it is at that point that I couldn’t stop reading.

First of all, I knew Afghanistan has been at war and in political flux for a while, but until reading this book, I had no idea the turmoil Afghan people have lived through over the past 30 years in particular. It makes me want to go off and work for the UN. A Thousand Splendid Suns gives us insight into the true effect of war and revolving governments in Afghanistan by allowing us to peer into the lives of these two women and witness the struggles and tragedies—and joys—they face.

Khaled Hosseini makes you think about honor, love, happiness, endurance, sacrifice… makes you question your own allegiances, your own strength in facing hardship… makes you appreciate even more the comfortable American life you live, where you may not agree with the choices made by the government, but you aren’t punished for that disagreement. He makes you wish there was something you could do about the atrocities happening to human beings around the world… leaves you hoping for a better life for the Afghan people.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is definitely one of my top 3 books for this summer. Go read it. And then read Hosseini’s first book, The Kite Runner. I’m going to go back and read that one again.

1 comment:

babyluhh said...

I have to read The Kite Runner for school so I might check this out too.