It’s been a long time since my last post but the time I spent doing things other than blogging was worthwhile. I spent time with friends and family, watched movies and read yet another great book. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. I was very skeptical before buying this book because the summary in itself was very grim and intense and I usually don’t prefer reading such books but nevertheless I’m so glad I went ahead and bought it.
A Thousand Splendid Suns is a poignant tale of two unrelated women who share a bond, stronger than any you’ll ever see. Set in Afghanistan, Mariam and Laila become friends of circumstance and develop a bond far greater than even the bond of blood. Mariam’s life has been nothing but a saddening tragedy. Throughout her life, people around her have led her along treacherous paths and deceived her. Never has she been truly loved and cared for by anyone, be it her own mother, father or husband, except her Mullah Faisullah. But even that love is snatched from her when she’s packaged and sent away to the other end of Afghanistan against her will to marry Rasheed.
The novel immaculately spans over almost three decades in Afghanistan. Through these years, Afghanistan serves as a ball of rugby and is simply passed between one set of rulers to another. Soviets, Communists, the Mujahideen have turned a blind eye towards the guileless people of Afghanistan and wage war. The deafening sounds of gunfire and bombs become interminable and the peaceful political climate that the communists had helped create is bombed into smoke and rubble.
Seen from Laila and Mariam’s eyes, we experience what every Afghani woman felt during that period as the Taliban invades Afghanistan. Suddenly, women have become a bigger threat to the Taliban than infidels themselves and are subjected to the cruelest and harshest treatment you could ever imagine.
A Thousand Splendid Suns is a painful story but I’m so glad to have read it otherwise I don’t think I would’ve ever known what women have gone through and still go through in recovering Afghanistan. It breaks my heart to know that myriads of Afghani people were displaced due to everything that happened and are living as refugees in neighbouring countries even now.
The beautiful way in which this story was portrayed is just commendable and rightfully deserves the acclaim it has received. Khaled Hosseini is a brilliant storyteller and I want to read more books by him. I’ve read lots of books that I’ve felt really connected to but this really was one of the few books that actually made me cry. I would recommend everyone to read this book.
Happy Reading, Sidh.