[NOTE: This review DOES NOT contain any spoilers. It is meant to act as a reference if you are planning to read the book, and want a foreword on it.]
Author: Khaled Hosseini.
Release date: 22 May 2007
Point of View(s): Mariam, Laila.
Synopsis: 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 startling heroism.
I had been meaning to read this book for quite a long time but my exams were going on and I really didn’t have time to pick up a 400-page novel and read it. In fact, I ordered the book last week on Amazon, looking for a good read. Turns out, this book is one of the best I have ever read. It was heart touching and I am not embarrassed to admit that I was bawling even before the book ended.
Mariam was five years old the first time she heard the word ‘harami’
The opening line of the novel has a powerful impact on your mind. The word ‘harami’ refers to a person who was born illegitimately, outside of marriage. They say, all the best books start with a bang and end with a bang, and I would say that ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ is a perfect example of that.
The story is set in around 1960s to 2000s, situated in Herat, Afghanistan in the beginning and then progressing on to Kabul, Afghanistan. It depicts the change in the administration at the national level in the country, first with the Soviet intrusion, then to Taliban control, with intra-national political wars in the country. It also depicts the citizens of the country, and how they are affected by the continuous strains in the political regime of the country.
Mariam and Laila, the female protagonists of the story teach us the meaning of the true struggles in life. Loss, rejection, prejuduce, abuse and torment: these are the main themes elaborated in the novel. Khaled Hosseini had made sure to make our minds and hearts twist and squirm and rage against the injustice suffered by these two women.
The polical situation of the country plays an important role in the story, but Hosseini has made sure that the main driving force in the story is the voice of the two women. One, who bitterly resents her life and the other, hiding a big secret find each other in the darkness they are surrounded by, and they try to find the joy amidst the constant gloom. They embark on the great journey together, a journey of sacrifice, betrayal, undestroyed hope, and most of all, unconditional love.
It has proved to be undoubtedly one of the best books I have ever read, and I would like to recommend it further to everyone.
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