A thousand splendid suns

Author- Khaled Hosseini

If you have a feeble heart then I would suggest you proceed with caution. The story is extremely agonizing and impassioned from start to finish. “A thousand splendid suns” explores the terror-filled world of abuse, beatings, rape, strangulation, isolation and the horrors of war. This book does not leave any dark side of the human world unexplored. But on the other side, it also explores the dimension of unadulterated love, affection, and friendship. And that makes this novel so difficult yet amazing to read. At some point, while reading the book you might have a feeling of contentment only to be left baffled at the next paragraph.

In the opening scene of the story, the author illustrates the unsophisticated and simple life of Mariam. Hosseini has very artfully aligned the simplicity and serenity of the character with the pristine rural environment. The plot develops with Mariam getting stealthily thrown at the tyrannical world of marriage. Here also, he changes the environment along with the latest development in the character. After developing the character of Mariam, the author introduces another protagonist-Laila. The world of this character is quite different from Mariam’s. Hosseini draws her world as more free-spirited and open-minded. Initially, you might feel reading a completely different story but Hosseini very precisely and brilliantly stitches the life of these two characters together.

Hosseini also depicts the stature of women during Taliban regime through the lives of Mariam and Laila- male dominance, domestic violence, inhumane treatments and restrictions to women, hatred, injustice, cruel punishments, betrayal, conspiracy, unfathomable acts of evil, etc. The story shows that during that time-period of Afghan history, women not only had to face the atrocities of social war but also of the domestic war. The story also depicts the adversities of war- brutalities and violence of wars, how simple lives become a part of the political conspiracy; hardships, pain, and suffering faced by the innocent civilians.

On the other side, it portrays the twisted tale of love, romance, loyalty, unimaginable human spirits and the endurance of love for one’s family members and the beloved ones. Hosseini through this story has penned down a very powerful picture of the Afghani women- hurdles which they have to overcome in every step of their life, sacrifices made to save their loved ones, enduring the narcissist society and so on.

To conclude with “A Thousand Splendid Suns” is a wonderfully tailored tale of endearment, sorrow, misery and deep degrees of emotions.  Hosseini through his brilliant style of storytelling will almost make you feel like you know the characters and will take you for a stroll to the historical period of Taliban war.


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