Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Book Review: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseni

Khalid Hosseni has come out with another winner after ‘The Kite Runner’. The Afgan landscape is once again delineated marvelously as the vistas of one oppressive regime after another unfold. This is a tale of two women whose supreme sacrifices for the other supersede everything else.

What I like about the book is that all the characters in the tale are strong and play a pivotal role. Mariam, is a poor harami, who is married at a very young age to a regressive widower 30 years senior to her. She has nothing to look forward in life, nobody to talk to her till the second protagonist, Laila steps into her desolate child-less household. Laila is vivacious, carefree and has everything she can desire in life including a good family and a sweetheart who adores her. Unfortunately the ravages that sweep through Afganistan spare nobody, and the two women find themselves in the same boat ready for desperate measures…

The story certainly lingered in my mind for several days as I thought of all the mindless destruction and trauma that the Afgans and especially the Afgani women who had been shackled by orthodoxy have had to go through. But at the end of it all, ‘A thousand splendid suns’ embodies the human hope and courage to lead a better life despite all odds.

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