Monday, October 08, 2007

A Thousand Splendid Suns

by Khaled Hosseini

I was tempted to forgo reading this book because I was worried that it would not be as good as his first novel, The Kite Runner. Yet, after reading many good reviews, I decided to give it a try and loved it.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is the story of two women, Miriam and Laila, living in a tumultuous Afghanistan, and how their lives intertwine. Miriam was the illegitimate daughter of Jalil, a weathly business man. She lived with her mother in a kalib, or hut, outside of the village with her mother until her mother's death and then was given away in marriage at a very young age to a brutal man and widower named Rasheed. Her life is a lonely one, unable to bear children, and suffering under the abusive hand of her husband, until Laila comes into her life as Rasheed's second wife. Rasheed had rescued Laila after her house was bombed, killing her family. Laila bore a son, and although Miriam resented Laila at first, they band together to escape their husband.

The book is full of twists and turns and unexpected surprises. I found myself in tears, and in other parts, enraged. Yet, in the end, I was satisfied. I thought the ending was done very well. The book was a quick read and kept me engrossed in its pages from start to finish.


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