Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Some have said that Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns is better than The Kite Runner; that may be true. The story, like The Kite Runner, follows a family in Afghanistan through war, turmoil and uprising and how these people find a way to survive (or not) through it. This book, however, touches on the September 11 attacks and how the Afghan people were affected when the Taliban took over. Hosseini has a superb writing style that convinces the reader to truly hate the lead male character – Rasheed, and to feel nothing but compassion for the lead female characters – Mariam and Laila. The story keeps the reader on an emotional roller coaster, but most of the time sadness and despair rule over any sort of happiness. But the ending is at least as comforting as possible in staying with the reality of the war-torn country.

For me, the book read a little slow, mainly because of the author's use of Farsi words and phrases. But once I memorized the meanings of most of these words I was able to read a bit faster. It was also an abbreviated history lesson about the formation of the Taliban and the acts that led up to the attacks on America. While this book won't make it into my top ten, I would still highly recommend it to anyone.