I had to read this. After reading The Kite runner, there was no way I could avoid A thousand splendid suns by the same author.
It can be difficult to live up-to expectations. After the success of The Kite runner I’m sure every reader would pick this one with greater expectations. The review in Washington Post aptly mentions: “Just in case you’re wondering whether Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns is as good as The Kite Runner, here’s the answer: No. It’s better.
Khalid hosseini tells you a story of two nondescript women in war torn Afghanistan – their plight and suffering depicted as if he lived their lives. He has a knack of slipping into the character and takes you along. You can feel the emotional and physical pain of giving birth to an illegitimate child. Or the feeling of comfort and belongingness when snuggling in your father’s lap and listening to his humming through his stomach.
The story runs in real-time – along with the political turmoil and upheavals that Afghanistan has gone through in recent times. I would not delve into the plot as it may hamper the joy of relevation, but I would share some beautiful quotes which are good out of context – in the book, with the context they are more poignant.
- Learn this now, and learn it well, my daughter: Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. Always.
- Behind every trial and sorrow that He makes us shoulder, God has a reason.
- And the past held only this wisdom: that love was a damaging mistake, and its accomplice, hope, a treacherous illusion. And whenever those twin poisonous flowers began to sprout in the parched land of that field, Mariam uprooted them.
- She thought of her entry into this world, the harami child of a lowly villager, an unintended thing, a pitiable, regrettable accident. A weed. And yet she was leaving the world as a woman who had loved and been loved back. She was leaving it as a friend, a companion, a guardian. A mother. A person of consequence at last. No. It was not so bad, Miriam thought, that she should die this way. Not so bad. This was a legitimate end to a life of illegitimate belongings.