27 December 2007

A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini

Interesting that I finish reading this book on the day that Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in Pakistan. Hosseini has woven yet another magical story about his homeland of Afghanistan. As it relates heavily to the role (or rather lack thereof) that women play in the Muslim world, I found the lack of respect and power granted to Hosseini's characters immediately juxtaposed by the Bhutto's larger than life figure.

As a recommendation, I would highly urge anyone with a love of literature to read this book. Someone asked me the other day what Hosseini's sophmore effort was about - although I bumbled my way through it (it has been said I am not very well spoken, which may actually be the case; but with a keyboard at my fingertips, my verbal diarhhea seems to dissipate. Let's call the keyboard my Pepto Bismol), I now state that it is about the love and respect two women show one another when evil and hardship is thrust upon them. Set in very recent Afghanistan (Hosseini is clearly making a case for peacekeeper of the year if not only for keeping the light shinning on his homeland), Laila and Mariam experience heartbreak, laughter, love and sadness at the hands of a fundamentally vile and despicable man that is Rasheed. I would just as much not say more about the book, as I would hope that your experience can be as "fresh" as mine.

Hosseini has a knack for writing devastatingly beautiful and haunting stories all at once. Easily one of the best books I have read in the last 12 months - come to think of it, one of the best since I read Hosseini's first book - the Kite Runner.

....every Afghan story is marked by death and loss and unimaginable grief. And yet, she sees, people find a way to survive, to go on.

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