Book Reviews, Books

In Review – A Thousand Splendid Suns – Story of Struggle and Faith

khaled_1A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Published by: Bloomsbury
Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Contemporary
Pages: 372
Format: Paperback

My Review in 15 Words: The ugly truth of life as a woman in a patriarchal society

About the Book:

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.

My Thoughts:

Unlike most people, who read “Kite Runner” first, I read “A thousand splendid suns” instead of Mr. Hosseini’s debut novel first. It was I guess reader’s anxiety, as Kite Runner was already a huge success and garnering rave reviews. And history has it, when you read creations from the same author, you always compare it with the best work of the author that you have read. I wanted to give fair chance to the second book of Mr. Hosseini.

How right was my decision? A Thousand Splendid Suns is about two women who fight against odds, a story of hope in a hopeless world, a story about perseverance and resilience of the human spirit. This story of Mariam and Laila is beautiful, enlightening and haunting (majorly haunting). It brings out raw emotions – you feel helpless reading this story of the plight of two women.

I am not surprised that how well Mr. Hosseini has written from women’s perspective; as somewhere I have read that while doing research for his books he himself wore a burqa to feel the emotions the women must be feeling.

What makes it really haunting is the knowledge that when we (half of the world – sitting in our air-conditioned homes, sipping afternoon tea) are reading the book about Mariam, Leila and their plight, there are millions of Mariam and Leila facing the exact same thing in other parts of the world.

The most devastating thing is even though, this book was written in 2007; with the era of the late 90s in mind. This book is still relevant and hard hitting in 2017.

Pros:

This is a well-written book with a powerful message. Mr. Hosseini writes crisp but brutal sentences which conjure the visuals in front of you. This fiction does not sound like a fiction at all, you get inadvertently gripped by a tragic story of two women who are from different world but are victim of patriarchal despotism

Cons:

This book is a very dark and emotional read. Many of you will not be able to complete the read because of the emotional trek this book is going to take you to.

Overall Reaction:

This is an amazing book which emotionally involves the reader in the journey of its protagonists. Horrified, helpless, angry, determined, disgusted, terrified, humbled and hopeful, the reader feels all the emotions available on the spectrum.

A great read indeed!

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