Monday, 10 September 2012

A Thousand Splendid Suns

I'd bought a copy of Khaled Hosseini's second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, after loving his first book, The Kite Runner, but then I managed to lose it somewhere under Mount Stuff.. Anyway, I felt like reading something on Saturday, so I explored Mount Stuff until I found the book, and started reading it.

I just finished reading it, a little while ago, and if I was to describe it with one word, it'd be: Wow!

It's amazing how someone can make you feel sort of familiar with people, places and customs you'd never heard of, on just a few written pages.. (Now that I've read the book, I find myself checking out places on Google satellite maps - for example, Herat, and Deh-Mazang, or Dehmazang, Kabul. I did the same after reading The Kite Runner!)

From a western woman's perspective, this book makes you think that even if your life is shyte, it's probably nowhere near as much of it as an average Afghan woman's life.. When years were mentioned, I was thinking back to my own life at the time, and comparing it to the lives of these fictional women, who might as well have been real women..

The horror of being a teenager, and more or less being forced to marry a complete stranger who is also much, much older.. Having to move far away from home, not getting a chance to say goodbye to the people you've known, and never to be back again or hear from any of those people.. Not allowed to go out without your husband or a male relative.. Having to wear a burqa and never show your face to anyone except your husband / family.. And if your husband happens to be a complete cunt, life is  pretty much unbearable.

When Laila visited Mariam's kolba, I was just crying my eyes out, and it took me about two packets of Kleenex to get to the end of the book.

And those Buddhas of Bamiyan..

I think that everyone should read this book, if they haven't already..


  1. Its a good book. I have read read many years ago. It is wow, like you said. I have read the Kite Runner too. He is a good writer..

    1. I checked his website to see if he's written anything else, but nothing yet.. However, his events list seems quiet lately, so hopefully that means he's currently writing a book.....