Khaled Hosseini is a name that peeks from every book store. It is frequently found on the shelves in different and diverse people’s houses. Not having read ‘The kite runner’ I have always felt like missing out on something that everybody else was enjoying. That is why when a classmate literally shoved ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ in my hands there was no doubt in my mind. I had to read that novel.
The plot line of the book traces 40 years of Afghan history from 1963 to 2003, from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding. The whole story is told by the lives of Mariam and Laila whose paths cross in the house of Rasheed, their husband. Even though they come from different backgrounds and hold different grieves, the two women come together and find comfort in each other in the horrible place which they must call home.
The unstable times that war brings corrupt even the most precious and valuable human morals. Family is converted into something twisted and terrible that has a taste of fear and loneliness. With the struggles for survival come the pain and suffering. The hardships grow even more when the Taliban take over control. A woman is no longer a normal human being. Her rights are crushed like an insect under the heavy and unflinching boot of the government. The two protagonists must survive in such a world carrying not the weight of their past but also this of their present.
Living in the 21st century in a civilised habitat we sometimes forget that the world is not heaven on Earth. Even in these ‘modern times’ war is still present. From time to time it is a good thing to educate ourselves and learn about even those countries which are very far away and which business does not have an immediate effect on us. And I believe that fiction books are not a bad place to start at, especially those written by Khaled Hosseini.
Some might think that ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ is a typical women’s book. I beg to differ. I believe that it is a novel that men should read. Because it is of the utmost importance how men treat women. Even if we are better at doing most things, we are still the more delicate sex. Women can not handle every situation and sometimes it is up to the male part of society not to put us in such.
‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ is a story about love and hatred, hope and despair, humility and rising above, fear and security and mostly about the never ending search for happiness. Khaled Hosseini’s style of writing contributes to the plot his mind has come up with, creating a moving tale where friendship and love are found even in the darkest of corners.