Monday, August 17, 2009

A Thousand Splendid Suns

I literally just finished reading this and had an urge to write about it before my emotions died down. The book has been sitting on my shelf for years, as I couldn't imagine it being as good as Khaled Hosseini's first one, The Kite Runner. I'm happy to report that A Thousand Splendid Suns is just as good, if not better!

The two main female characters are beautiful. I loved Mariam and Laila from the first pages of reading about them and continued to do so until the end. Their strength in the face of unimaginable hardship was amazing, especially so since I imagine that they represent a whole generation of women. We, living in countries where there is peace and equality, don't know how lucky we are. I admit that I take so very much for granted, all my freedoms included. I have nothing but admiration for the women who lived through Afghanistan's troubled years and the Taliban's rule. I cannot imagine going through it myself.

A Thousand Splendid Suns gives us a glimpse into the history of what seems to be a beautiful country (I've never been) and one which definitely has a rich culture and past. This history is shown to us through regular human beings in everyday situations. There can't be anything that we can identify with more.

If it wasn't for authors like Khaled Hosseini, we would never have the chance to experience Afghanistan and to be made aware of what the news we watch on tv means to the people there, how it affects them. I for one feel richer having read A Thousand Splendid Suns and am extremely grateful to the author for affecting my life in this way.

Challenges: 2nds Challenge, 999 Challenge, Every Month is a Holiday, Orbis Terrarum, Whitcoulls Challenge

10 comments:

Lezlie said...

I keep not getting to these books for one reason or another, but that will change soon. I'm so glad you loved them! I'll bet I will, too.

I hope all is well with you!

Lezlie

Mari said...

I have had this book sitting on my shelf for years as well. I need to pick it up and read it soon.

Trish said...

This is one of those few that I bought as soon as it came out and read it immediately--often the book sits on my shelf for years, too. I'm so glad this one lived up to your expectations. I liked it better than The Kite Runner as well, but I think it was because of the female angle that TKR didn't have. Did you use a lot of tissue?

Charley said...

I would like to read both this book and The Kite Runner.

Kailana said...

I have had this since it came out and still not read it. Must remedy that soon because it does look really good1

joanna said...

Lezlie - I'll bet you will!

Mari - there are simply too many good ones out there, aren't there? ;-)

Trish - I think I was reading too fast to cry, if you see what I mean... And I agree on the women's angle, I think that influenced me as well, there are some things that we relate to better as women I guess.

Charley - they are both worth making time for.

Kailana - you should definitely bump it up the list!

Lahni said...

Most people seem to like this one better than The Kite Runner. I guess I need to reread it, because I was really disappointed the first time I read it. I think it's because The Kite Runner had such a compelling storyline whereas this one was more like a memoir style without as much of a story. Do you agree?

Amy said...

I look at this book and The Kite Runnerin the store all the time and never buy them. I will now. Thank you for reviewing A Thousand Splendid Suns, it sounds like a very good book. I'm looking forward to reading both books.

Paula Weston said...

This one's been on my shelf for a while too (along with The girl with the dragon tattoo - and yes, I've just read your post on that one!) Your review has convinced me to bump up the reading list.

joanna said...

Lahni - I think the female perspective really brought it home for me, but I agree that The Kite Runner had a stronger plot. I guess this is what got me about this one, that it was so tragic and it was just regular people's regular lives.

Amy - I hope you enjoy them both!

Paula - I think you'll like this one, it gives us lots to think about.