Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini

PLOT Hosseini portrays the tumult of Afghanistan's last thirty years as reflected in the lives of two woman married to the same man. Miriam was a harami, a bastard,loved by her father,Jalil, but not quite enough. She's quickly married off to the brutal Rasheed to safely rid Jalil's legitimate family of her embarrassing existence. Laila is young, beautiful and well-educated by her doting father, but as the violence of Afghanistan's repeated upheavals decimates her family, she, too, marries Raheed to survive. In the midst of killing and oppression, bombs and hardship, beatings and tears, the two form a bond that enables them to continue living.
Why I Pulled This Book from My TBR Shelf I had read and loved the Kite Runner, one the the most powerful and beautiful books I've ever experienced.
Comment A Thousand Splendid Suns presents much more history than does The Kite Runner. In Suns, Hosseini intertwines periodic history lessons with the story (and it's obvious these lessons are a digression), even giving all the names of the warlords, where they were from, and their political goals. While in Runner, the history is there, it functions as a backdrop against which the plot unfolds. Suns, occasionally bordering on didactic, and perhaps incorporating too much information for some readers, did give me a much better sense of why Afghanistan is so torn and what the Afghan people have endured. The character development is excellent - I understood and identified with these two women even though my world is so different. Hosseini's writing "engages" the reader with both the characters and the setting. He has the ability to draw you into his world - I felt as if I experienced both books with all my senses. Highly Recommended.

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