Do you like suffering? Do you like books where literally nothing goes right, for 99% of the book? Do you like tragedy, brutality, abuse, and repeated scenes of graphic violence against women? Well this is the book for you!
I present to you my latest project ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’, by Khaled Hosseini. I’ll start with what I liked about it. Hosseini has a brilliant way of painting visuals, and tying your emotions in with the story. He also has an art for gracefully tying in historical events with the lives of his characters. Hosseini is a fantastic writer. And this book, for the majority of most readers, is probably a great piece of literature. I am in no way denying it’s literary standing. If you can stomach the realistic depiction of the lives of (I’m sure) many women around the world, you should tackle this book.
The entire time I was reading this book, scene after scene, I was filled with dread. Every time I got to a new chapter, my desire for change and improvement for the characters plights were shot down again and again. How many times must I read the same wife-beating scene? How many loved ones and characters must die before the damn book ends?
The visuals are astonishing, and your heart truly does ache for Laila and Miriam – the two main characters, who are both strong women in their own way. We follow them both through their childhoods, and then as they live together as the wives of Rasheed, a sadistic and power hungry despicable man. They all live in Kabul, and it paints the picture of the changing climate between the Soviet powers, the mujahideen, and the Taliban. As the characters change and grow, so does the city.
‘Suns’ is a tapestry of suffering, love, and human endurance. If you have appreciation for tragedies, and historical fiction, this is worth the read. If you only like books that make you feel warm and bubbly inside, involving puppies and sparkling vampires, skip it.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
“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.”