Thursday, August 09, 2007

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Every single one of our customers who purchased "The Kite Runner" ,by the same author of "A Thousand Splendid Suns" ,told me it was the best book they had ever read, and that I must read it too!
I must admit I was a little bit put off by the subject matter. It was obvious it wasn't going to be a cheerful read. We have all been inundated with images of war and death in Afghanistan in the last few years, so it wasn't difficult to recoil at the thought of reading in detail about what went on in that country, that led to recent events.

Eventually, I decided to give "The Kite Runner" a go and it was one of the very few books I've read that grabbed my attention from page one.

Today I finished reading "A Thousand Splendid Suns". If it's in any way possible, Hosseini's second novel is even better than the first. Whereas "The Kite Runner" tells the story of Afghanistan from men's perspective, "A Thousand Splendid Suns" tells it from women's point of view. Khaled Hosseini is a storyteller. One that grips you emotionally. There aren't any dull pages.
It's through the eyes of Mariam and Laila, and their life tragedies, that we learn about life in a country torn by war. And it is amidst this climate of violence, loss and religious fundamentalism that we discover, as we read on, that in the end most of us dream about the very same things: peace, love and freedom. It is impossible, as we turn the last page on the book, not to spare a special thought to women who have endured the hurt of not being able to simple being...

I am choosing to tell you more about my feelings about the book than about the plot itself. I don't want to give more away than you need to know. And all you need to know is that this an excellent book, one to keep, one whose characters will remain with you long after the book is put away on the shelf.