A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS
— by Khaled Hosseini
The first thing that captured my mind was the title of the book. What is it that the author has written about that speaks about suns? Thousand suns?? What is it that he is trying to explain to us?
May be another heart breaking story? That will shake you from inside, make you feel torn and broken?
He is very good at this.
I remember how heartbroken I felt after reading the book THE KITE RUNNER, Khaled knows how to bring emotions out of even the unmoved, inexpressive ones.
Set in the duration between 1960s and 1990s, in a war-torn Afghanistan, it is a dual narrative from the point of view of two women, Mariam and Laila, so different from each other but a common string pulls them both together in a complex and unforgiving stage in their lives.
Mariam is a ‘harami’, an illegitimate child, her father, a wealthy businessman, and mother, a maid. Coping with the everyday harassments, everything changes for her when her mother dies and she is married to a person 20 years senior to her, Rasheed. The life with the old and grumpy Rasheed seems to be a gift to her, after all the guilt and hatred she has tolerated, but all this comes to an end when she endures several miscarriages, changing him to an abusive monster. Khaled gives him a backstory, that make us see a different point of view, which does not justify his wrongs but make us realise his mental status.
Then comes Laila, a girl born in a family with unconstrained views, which makes her a strong and brave character, in love with a neighbour boy, but life for her comes to a still when the war takes away everything she has leaving behind a secret that she is so desperate to keep.
In a wrong turn of events she comes to live with Mariam and Rasheed, and then the story unfolds in such heart wrenching and unexpected ways, that just blows the mind in unimaginable ways!!
This is a story of courage, of love, of heartbreak, of immense guilt, of the sacrifices one can make for their loved ones, and most importantly of HOPE, the sun of our life, that fuels everything that we do and shapes our lives.
It is a must tale for everyone out there, for it teaches us what hope can achieve and how important our lives are. The storytelling is excellent, giving out every tiny detail about each character, which may overwhelm some, but it makes the characters what they are and it gives us an in depth view of their thoughts. All in all it is a magnificent read.