“one could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs,
or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.”
A thousand splendid suns is Khaled Hosseini’s masterpiece. An incredible saga,the book could move one and all. Set in a time span across thirty years in the history of Afghanistan, the book speakes volumes on those tough times and the lives of people, caught in it .
Two women- Mariam and Laila are distinctly apart, yet when their paths cross, their lives become similar. Mariam faces the stigma of being an illegitimate child, her mother dies at an early age in her life. Mariam is married to Rasheed who is far older than her, much against her wishes. Mariam’s inability to bear bear childern turns Rasheed bitter, and she soon find herself in physical and mental abuse in her life .Mariam’s life behind the veil gets tougher, until Laila enters her life .
For Mariam, Laila was intially the women who stole her husband away. But soon she realizes that the young girl is in a similar situation- living life on the whims and fancies of the man who owns them. Her hatered turns into motherly love for Laila and her little baby. It is through Laila that Mariam beings to give and recieve love, an emotion that she had been starved of all her life.
Laila born a generation apart, comes with a different set of ideologies about love, life and family. She is intelligent and bold. She provokes Mariam to risk their lives and escape from the clutches of Rasheed, something which Mariam had seldom tried to undertake. When Laila is forced to undertake a caesarian for the birth of her second child without any anesthesia, she exhibits her strength and will to survive. The two live in toughest times in Afghanistan. With women’s rights being practically absent, survival becomes a struggle. It is an act of fearless anger, Mariam is driven to kill Rasheed. She is ready to face any consequence that may follow soon after. she clears the way for Laila to escape, and lead a peaceful life in Pakistan with only man who loved her-Tariq. It is this sense of debt to Mariam and her country that Laila is determined to return back from exile in Pakistan . “a men’s heart is a wretched wretched thing, it is not a mother’s womb,it won’t stretch , it won’t bleed to make room for you.”
A Thousand Splendid Suns is deeply moving story of a family, of love, of the status of women and salvation. A book that i have read more than once and still pick it anytime.