Posted by : Halima Khait Monday, September 10, 2012

As I closed the back cover to A Thousand Splendid Suns, I had to say "That was a good book" even though nobody but my cat, Giselle, was around and she generally pays me no attention. 

This novel relays the history of Afghanistan from the 1980s until shortly after Taliban rule.  The most interesting part is, it's told from the women's perspective.  But the author is a man.  I'm usually leery of authors writing in a voice vastly different from their own, but Hosseini did well with this.  I feel he captured the desire for women to make something out of whatever circumstances they're given, thereby making the reader feel connected to his characters and their plights. 

I don't want to reveal too much because I highly recommend this book and want everybody reading this post to read the novel, but as a brief summary, Hosseini talks about how occupation and the struggle to regain a national identity affects a country.  Spefically, the war to rid Afghanistan of its Soviet occupiers and the subsequent civil conflict that resulted while trying to establish a government. 

It was heartbreaking to read the characters' stories and really get a sense of how all of this fighting affected everyday life and eventually the course of entire lives.  To get into the mindset of people who's every decision is determined by the will to survive.  To see what extremes they'll go to in order to access small luxuries such as watching a movie or traveling freely or having a choice of who you'll build a life with. 

In short, this novel balanced entertainment with history well.  Definitely would give it five out of five stars. 

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