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A Thousand Splendid Suns: Review
shagun kapil | 19 Nov 2011

A book review on the book ' A thousand splendid Suns' by khalid Hosseini

A THOUSAND Splendid Suns is a book which gives glimpses and insight into the daily life in Afghanistan and deals with the plight of women in Afghanistan. It narrates story through the eyes of two very different women who become friends and allies.
 
The novel is divided into four parts. The first part focuses on Mariam, the second and fourth parts focus on Laila, and the third part switches focus between Mariam and Laila with each chapter.

Initially the story revolves around Mariam who is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry the troubled and bitter Rasheed, who is thirty years her senior. Nearly two decades later, in a climate of growing unrest, tragedy strikes fifteen year old Laila, who must leave her home and join Mariam’s unhappy household.
 
Laila and Mariam are to find consolation in each other, their friendship to grow as deep as the bond between sisters, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. However, at the end, the situations bring death at the hands of the Taliban for one character, and the promise of a new life for another.

The author Khalid Hosseini has already gained acclamations with his first novel “Kite Runner”. Hosseini originally from Afghanistan, in his both the stories attempts to show Afghanistan as a wounded country and its violent history. In “A Thousand Splendid Suns” the author intends to deal with the plight of women in Afghanistan.
 
He paints a stark picture of what it means to be a woman in a culture where they are valued only for how well they keep a house, and how many sons they produce. A culture where they are subject to the whims of men.  Also he succeeds in portraying Afghanistan as a country with a once rich past which disintegrates as the rule of power move from the Soviet Union to the  Mujahideen, the Taliban and finally the US-backed government with Hamid Karzai at the helm.

“Every street of Kabul is enthralling to the eye
Through the bazaars, caravans of Egypt pass
One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs
And the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.”

Hosseini reiterates these lines in his book as they explain Kabul to its best.

In my opinion the story is so well written that one cannot help but imagine that these two remarkable women are drawn from life, that their lives reflect the lives of thousands of Afghani women who have endured despite the odds. One feels for the innocent civilian who is forced to bear the brunt of each attack as the wars between different factions progress. We actually think of Afghanistan as a “Lost Paradise.”

The author ends on a note of hope, hope which floats and reiterates that in the days to come the Paradise which was lost would be found soon.