In 2013, I read The Almond Tree and I’m so glad I did. It was wonderful. Heart wrenching.
The Daily Star praised this book saying: “The story is spellbinding…can do for Palestinians what The Kite Runner did for Afganis.
Now, I wanted to read….no not The Kite Runner but Khaled Hosseini. I chose A Thousand Splendid Suns.
"One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roof
Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls"
A Thousand Splendid Suns is a heart-breaking tale of two women from different generation, different backgrounds. Their struggle for happiness and love. Their inexplicable togetherness.
Mariam, an illegitimate child, always yearns for her father’s companionship, acceptance and her mother’s affectionate words. Then, at 15, she has been pushed into a loveless marriage. Rasheed, more than 25 years older than Mariam, and beaten by his own past doesn’t seem bad until Mariam experiences painful miscarriages.
Laila spends her childhood with her father’s affectionate shade, her mother’s oblivion, and Tariq’s amity. The destiny, triggered by ongoing violence in Afghanistan, takes a cruel turn and throws Laila under the shelter of Rasheed and Mariam.
The story takes a complicated turn. Two women connect the way they are not supposed to.
This story is about impeccable compassion, unexpected love, unimaginable loss and grief, inexplicable loyalty. Loyalty so strong and pure that last for life and even after death. Above all, stubborn hope that refuses to extinguish.
The writing is simple and sketches a real picture. For me, highlight of the book is those beautifully written scenes that have immense power to tug your emotion. To evoke a sense of pain and loss.
Mariam and Laila are strong characters. Strong in their own ways.
But, I won’t say it was a perfect read as there were some low points. Sometimes, the author leaves some scenes open ended when I wanted to know a little more. Laila’s childhood could have been shortened. Description of Afghanistan’s socio-political situation is written in a very informative and factual manner.
But, if I ignore these things, it was a wondrous read! I’d recommend this to all, especially for those heart-breaking scenes. I truly respect Mr. Hosseini for that. Very few writers manage to shake your emotion so effortlessly and naturally.
Book Source: Personal Copy