A Thousand Splendid Suns By Khaled Hosseini

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Another brilliant work by Khaled Hosseini. Amazing character development and the plot is superb. He moulds his characters and then fits them into scenes in a way that even if you hate the bad guy entirely, you do feel sorry for his death.

From the 1960s to 2003, the book concentrates on the tumultuous lives and relationship of two Afghan women, Mariam and Laila. Mariam suffers from the stigma surrounding her birth as she is an illegitimate child, and the abuse that she faces throughout her marriage. Laila is born a generation after Mariam, so is comparatively privileged during her youth until the point their lives converge and she is forced to accept a marriage proposal from Mariam’s husband.

The story illustrates the servant-like treatment of these two women and their subjection to physical and emotional cruelty which was allowed and endorsed. At the same time it tells of their bravery, kindness and self-resilience, their humanness and compassion in the midst of trying to survive in such a brutal and oppressive environment. An extremely uplifting story despite the hostile and negative surroundings of its setting. I was completely engrossed in this book and even felt at times that I was living in Afghanistan. Great work and a must read for all.

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