. . . by Khaled Hosseini.
Oh lordy! I think I’m in love with this author. I am certainly unashamedly awestruck by his writing and humbled by his compassion.
He has become actively engaged in the plight of the Afghan refugees and at the end of his books he offers us the chance to help or learn more about the crisis of refugees here.
Anyway, A Thousand Splendid Suns. I’ve just finished it and as you have probably surmised, I loved it. Khaled (see, we’re on first name terms) writes about the Afghan female plight with gentle but amazing insight and empathy given that he is a man. It’s a hauntingly sad and tragic story but also very beautiful and lovely. He illustrates the cruelty and the injustice of war with tenderness and reality and he presents an informed picture, adding a human aspect, of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the cruel depravities of the Taliban regime. But the beauty of the loyalty and love between two wonderful and courageous women who have endured the harshest of cruelties, is an inspiration. And the indestructible love story of the gentle Tariq and the lovely passionate Laila overpowers everything and I defy anyone not to cry. There’s so much more I would like to comment on, mostly about Mariam’s plight and her ultimate heart-breaking self-sacrifice . . . and about Laila’s act of gratitude and remembrance towards her but I don’t want to put any spoilers in. Whoops! I think I just did. Sorry.
The following two lines are taken from a poem by a 17th century Persian poet called Saeb-e-Tabrizi about the city of Kabul and the poem is worth reading in full. The use of this poem in the book clearly demonstrates the author’s love for his city and its people which were almost ruined and destroyed to the ground by bombs.
One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs,
Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.
All in all, the story will educate and inspire you, it will shock and anger you . . . but it will make your heart soar. It touched my soul anyway.