Have you ever come across a book that you do not want to put down, but also don’t want to know how it ends? A Thousand Splendid Suns makes you feel just the same!
Set amidst the turbulent times of war in Afghanistan, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking tale that spans over generations. Khaled Hosseini works his magic through his words and weaves a unique story that is sure to move you.
In a Nutshell
The story revolves around the life of Mariam and Laila, both married to an abusive man, Rasheed. Mariam, being an illegitimate daughter of a wealthy man faces a lot of humiliation in the society. Her fate does not change for better even after marriage and she suffers in the hands of Rasheed since she is unable to bear a son for him. Enters Laila, an orphan who is supported by Rasheed only to be married to him later in hopes of giving him the son of his dreams. Set in the times when the Taliban was trying to take over Afganisthan, this book explores the beautiful bond that develops between Laila and Mariam among this chaos.
The theme of Oppression and Womanhood
A Thousand Splendid Suns takes into account the life of Mariam and Laila through the times of war in Afghanistan with the Soviet Union trying to take control of that of the Taliban attack. All this chaos is captured through the eyes of the two women who want to live a fairly normal life amidst all this. The oppression of women is evident through Hosseini’s writing who does not shy away from portraying the harsh realities of life. A Thousand Splendid Suns becomes extremely difficult to read sometimes due to its dark, gory and heavy content.
Right from Mariam’s childhood, we see her being denied the basic rights as a kid including education and contact with the outside world. Laila, on the other hand, is fortunate enough to gain education as well as live a life of luxury until a devastating bomb blast takes her parents away. The fate of both the women intertwine with each other when both are married to an abusive and dominating man, Rasheed. Both become a part of an unhappy household where they are beaten and abused regularly. This brings out the harsh reality of a women’s worth which is no less than a speck of dust.
What leaves a mark on the heart of the reader is the unexplainable bond that develops between Mariam and Laila. A Thousand Splendid Suns explores their relationship which manages to stand the test of time and space. It is an absolute inspiration to see these two women stay strong and courageous even in an unfair world.
Hosseini’s Magic through ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’
As usual, Hosseini knits a marvellous story through his magical words. The writing style is so enthralling that you feel like you are looking at the world through the eyes of Mariam and Laila. The flow of the words is so smooth that you don’t feel like putting the book down. It is easy to follow and less complex.
Hosseini created the characters perfectly. The most impressive element of his writing is the depiction of war, loss, and struggle through his characters. The actions of the characters initiate the chain of events that follow thereafter. All this makes A Thousand Splendid Suns an absolute page-turner! Hosseini’s writing just connects with you and leaves a deep impact on your heart and mind.
Excerpts from the book ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’
To truly understand the sheer brilliance of Hosseini’s writing, I am adding some excerpts from A Thousand Splendid Suns that stand out.
“Learn this now and learn it well, my daughter. Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. Always.’’
“Where I come from, one wrong look, one improper word, and blood is spilled. Where I come from, a woman’s face is her husband’s business only.’’
“Yet love can move people to act in unexpected ways and move them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with startling heroism”
“One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs,
Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.”
A Thousand Splendid Suns is a story of love and loss, war, and struggle. It is a compelling read that will carve a niche in your heart and leave you wondering. It is not just a story about Mariam and Laila but thousands of women out there who fall prey to the norms of the society. The weight of the strong emotions will tear you up but also fill your heart with love and compassion. Read this book by Khaled Hosseini for the sheer experience of it.
If you liked this review. check out our review of ‘Kafka On The Shore’ by Murakami