Friday 1 July 2011

Hosseini, Khaled "A Thousand Splendid Suns"

Hosseini, Khaled "A Thousand Splendid Suns" - 2007

I'm not sure whether I would have picked up this book if it hadn't been a book club read. We read "The Kite Runner" in October 2007, the year, this book was published. We had read quite a few Afghanistan books previously and I was probably just expecting something else.

Anyway, I'm glad this novel was chosen for our reading list this year. Because I really enjoyed the book. And it is always fantastic getting together with so many lovely girls discussing the most interesting subjects.

This is only one of many Afghanistan books this group has read over the years. Such an important subject. We had a lot of positive comments to this novel. Good story, gripping, difficult to put down, drew you into this subject, spirit of the human heart, how people can find pleasure and joy. Someone said the book is haunting, couldn't agree more. But not just in a negative way. It also gives you hope, hope that people still go on after everything they go through and still want to work toward a better life for everyone.

This book touches a lot of subjects, of which we were only able to discusss a few, I think one could make this an all-week feature:
·    Abuse to women and children. If you give someone power, they will use it. If abuse is not punished, people will abuse others.
·    Importance of education, not just for women and children/girls, also for men
·    Child marriages
·    Tribes
·    Mother-daughter-relationship, sisterhood, amazing how a man can write this
·    Religion

Certainly a worthwhile read, even if you didn't enjoy Kaleid Hosseini's first book.

We discussed this in our book club in June 2011.

From the back cover:

"A Thousand Splendid Suns is a 2007 novel by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini. It is his second, following his bestselling 2003 debut, The Kite Runner. The book, which spans a period of over 40 years, from the 1960s to 2003, focuses on the tumultuous lives and relationship of Mariam and Laila, two Afghan women. Mariam, an illegitimate child, suffers from the stigma surrounding her birth and the abuse she faces throughout her marriage. Laila, born a generation later, is comparatively privileged during her youth until their lives intersect and she is also forced to accept a marriage proposal from Rasheed, Mariam's husband."

His latest book is the best one: "And the Mountains Echoed".

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