A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini | Book Review


BLURB: Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed. Nearly two decades later, a friendship grows between Mariam and a local teenager, Laila, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. When the Taliban take over, life becomes a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. Yet love can move people to act in unexpected ways and lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism.
One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.

Title: A Thousand Splendid Suns
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Genre: Adult, Historical, Literary, Fiction
Pages: 419
Goodreads rating: 4.37
Publication: 2008 by Bloomsbury
Reading format: Paperback
Standalone/Series: Standalone
Review type: Non-spoilery

You see, some things I can teach you. Some you learn from books. But there are things that, well, you have to see and feel.
And teach me this story does. Here goes the most powerful, heartwrenching, emotional and infuriating story I've read of all time. I will probably think about this book from time to time. My friend suggested this book to me and even lend her own precious copy to me for about a month, the very same friend who lent her copy of The Kite Runner last year. May Allah bless her for letting me read this beautifully heartbreaking story sets in the world that although painted by Hosseini, is very much real. Mariam and Laila of this book don't exist in real life, but thinking just how many women out there who went through what they did, and still going through the same thing really, really break my heart.

If I thought The Kite Runner made me cry in the way that any book never did, this book beats it. In this book, we were introduced to two women, each from a generation apart and very different background; Mariam from the countryside living in a kolba with her verbally abusive mother, a non-existent father whose only friend was an old man who taught her to read the Quran and there was Laila, a girl who grew up in a comfortable home with a complete set of parents and a boy who loved her more than a friend. Both of these women came together under the worst circumstance ever. We see these two women who were strangers to each other became closer and closer, forming friendship and bond over the struggles they needed to get through. They found love and strength through each other; a very heartwarming one, even at the worst time.
Each snowflake was a sigh heard by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the world. All the sighs drifted up the sky, gathered into clouds, then broke into tiny pieces that fell silently on the people below. As a reminder of how women suffer.
It angers me seeing how badly inhumane they were treated. I was never interested in learning about Afghanistan or the country's history but I finished reading this as a whole new person with these new pieces of knowledge and many terrifying scenes painted in my mind. Despite already reading Jean Sasson's For the Love of a Son and Hosseini's previous work, The Kite Runner, which angers me a lot, I still grow angrier, thinking of how many women suffered the very same thing Mariam and Laila did. I'm angry at all the Rasheeds, who make the lives of some women a living hell.
Learn this now and learn it well. Like a compass facing north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. Always. You remember that, Mariam.
Although my review might not do full justice for this book, it is indeed one of the best books I ever read. Mariam and Laila's story is important and should be known by everyone and I suggest you read it too.

You should read this if you're interested in: Khaled Hosseini's books, the life of the people during the rise of the Taliban, friendship and love between two women.

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