This was an incredible novel. I think I might actually be a better person for reading it. It’s finished and I still can’t put the book down. It was utterly fantastic. It almost made me cry and most books don’t do that. The touching way that Khaled Hosseini described the plight of the characters was captivating. It made me feel so angry and sad that people could be treated that way. Not just the women, the two main characters, Laila and Mariam. I was upset at the way men are raised and recruited into these “jihad” forces.
Not only is the book a look at the personal lives of these characters, but it is also an interesting look at the history of Afghanistan told by an Afghan. I could go on about the characters, what happens to them, the invasions, the bombs. I could talk about how each government changes, in the most basic ways, the way women are treated. I could even talk about the outrage at having men Laila considers warlords, become ministers in government. I won’t though. It’ll give away too much about this story and this story you need to read for yourselves. If there is one book that I put on my “must read” list, it’s this one. Everyone should experience A Thousand Splendid Suns.
*On a side note, after The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini’s first novel, he was appointed a goodwill envoy to UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency. Check out his website for more information on him and the UN site for the current situation in Afghanistan and refugees around the world.