Saturday, December 12, 2009
"A Thousand Spendid Suns", by Khaled Hosseini
Hosseini gave us in his second novel a heartbreaking story of two girls who grew close, women bonding in the chaos of war. The rich and violent history of Afghanistan provides a backdrop that informs and saturates the story for a span of over 40 years. This is one unforgettable and provocative epic tale, one novel everyone should read.
Right from the start you are pulled into a world of cruelty and despair with Hosseini's rich narrative capturing the intimate details of the lives of his two heroines: Mariam and Laila. Both born into different families and during a period suffer under the same circumstances. Mariam, an illegitimate child born in 1959 is forced into marriage by her father at the age of 15 to an abusive and cruel man. Laila was born into a loving family before the Russian invasion, she was educated and had dreamed of travel. The emergence of the Taliban changed everything; a bomb killed Laila's family, Mariam's husband took her in and she soon became his favourite...this is their story....
All the praise this novel received is well deserved; the story is straightforward and beautifully written. Hosseini eloquently depicts the years of Afghanistan's unimaginable tragedy from 1964-2003.