A Thousand Splendid Suns– Khaled Hosseini
I’m speechless. I have no words for this this book.
Beautiful, yet horrifying.
Overall: Amazing. Honestly, this book is in the running for my favorite book of all time. (Along with To Kill a Mockingbird.)
The story follows two women, bound together over time by commonalities of gender, family, and war. That’s all I can say. I don’t want to give ANYTHING away.
There are so many fascinating aspects of this book. First, there is the changing control of Kabul from different political groups. We all know Afghanistan has a unstable history, but reading this book made it easier to understand. Plus, it was from the perspective of someone living there.
Another theme that is constantly present is the role of women in culture, and how it changes under different rulers and with different people. At some points, Afghani women weren’t even allowed in the streets without a male family member. Mind blowing. At first, the issues surrounding women and inequality in this culture seemed so outdated, but are they? The more I read, the more events in the book reminded me of stories that constantly pour out of the news today. It made me really question how much progress we have made today. And maybe instead of being linear progress, it’s more like an elastic band just stretching different parts of the issue without really moving forward. (Don’t get me wrong, I know we have it better but I’m just curious how much progress we have really made.)
My favorite aspect of this book was how I could relate to characters that should not be relatable. Where I am at 23 is not even in the same world as where either character was at 23. However, there were still moments I felt like I could relate to or really feel what was going on. I guess that is the brilliance of Hosseini’s writing.
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. Does this book make me want to go Afghanistan? Yes and no. The most horrific parts of Afghanistan’s history is something I never want to be a part of. However, the way the country and Kabul are described does make me want to see the beautiful parts of the city. Hopefully one day there can be enough peace in the country to allow for stability and safety.
FINAL NOTE: For Afghanistan, it was either Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns or The Kite Runner. I had never read either book but after reading the summaries I chose A Thousand Splendid Suns based on the female leads! However, I’m planning on reading The Kite Runner at some point. Maybe after another 195 books…
What do you guys think? Have you read both books? What did you like better?
♦♦ Culture Bit ♦♦
Okay, so I might be dumb but when I first read about snow in Afghanistan I was shocked. I guess I didn’t know the climate included the cold much less snow. I feel like I only ever hear about how hot it is there. So, I looked up Kabul’s climate data on Wikipedia for kicks and thought I’d share.