Monday, 3 June 2013

''A Thousand Splendid Suns''- Book Review

Author: Khaled Hosseini
Published: 2007

Genres: Novel, Historical fiction

Rating: 5 out of 5


A Thousand Splendid Suns is Khaled Hosseini's second book. The book describes the unrest in Afghanistan from the 1970s to the early 2000s- which was also the subject of Hosseini's first book, The Kite Runner

A Thousand Splendid Suns describes in detail the sufferings of women in Afghanistan during the Taliban rule. I loved this novel. Very much. It is a superb, fascinating, deeply moving tale, a an absolute page turner, very informative, and very touching.

A Thousand Splendid Suns tells the story of two women, Mariam and Laila. Mariam is the illegitimate daughter of Jalil, a wealthy man, and Jalil's former housekeeper. Mariam grows up in an isolated village with her mother, whom she calls ''Nana''. Jalil often visits Mariam, and Nana constantly comments against Jalil, trying to sink him in Mariam's estimation. But however, Mariam still deeply loves her father, and eagerly anticipates for his visits. One day, when Mariam goes to visit her father- Nana commits suicide, thinking that Mariam would drift away from her. Soon, Mariam is married to a man much older than her, Rasheed. Though initially he behaves well with her, he starts getting extremely abusive after she suffers from multiple miscarriages. 

Laila is two decades younger than Mariam. She grows up in the home of a loving, educated father, and a mother who has never been much of a mother to her. In the midst of the unrest in the country, Laila becomes orphaned, and is sheltered by Mariam and Rasheed. Laila comes to know that she is pregnant by her childhood friend Tariq, and when news comes to her that Tariq has died, she agrees when Rasheed proposes to marry her, who is at least forty-five years older than her. 

Though Mariam and Laila are initially very hostile with each other, gradually they form a deep friendship. During the Taliban rule in Afghanistan, everything changes. Women's sufferings increase. Poverty, starvation... Mariam and Laila, along with these sufferings, are also tortured by their husband, Rasheed. Their life turns upside down because of so much sufferings... but their deep friendship and unity will help them to survive and face the tortures that is inflicted by their husband.

The novel gives a clear portrait of the unrest in Afghanistan from the 1970s to the 2000s. The novel gives focus on the torture that the women faced during the Taliban rule.  

I liked the characterization and the characters. The two protagonists, Mariam and Laila, are developed excellently. The novel explores their childhood, background, happiness, sufferings... Personally, I cannot decide who is my favorite among the two- both are equally well developed. I felt sympathy for Laila for her sufferings, and I felt both sympathy and admiration for the brave and memorable Mariam. 

I loved this novel, a lot. It was beautiful and lyrical. I had also liked The Kite Runner, but A Thousand Splendid Suns... was great. 

5 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment