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A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini

May 18, 2008

A Thousand Splended Suns is Hosseini’s follow up to his previously published and critically acclaimed book, The Kite Runner. I actually read this book when it was first published, but recently reread it for my bookclub.
This book, like Kite Runner, is set in Afghanistan and depicts events covering the last thirty years from the Soviet invasion, to the reign of the Taliban, to the post-Taliban rebuilding. These events serve as a backdrop and play an important part of the story as we follow the lives of two women – Miriam and Laila. Their stories are so raw, so wraught with emotion, so real that I had a very difficult time reading this book. At the same time, the story was so profound and so powerful that I couldn’t put it down.
Growing up in the United States, it never ceases to amaze me just how sheltered a life I lead. I am a college educated woman with the freedom and capability to do anything with my life that I want to do. It is so disheartening to me to confront the true realities of what happens in other parts of the world. I realize how blessed and lucky I am to have been born where I was born. There are so many women like Miriam and Laila with no choices who have to settle for whatever is destined for them.
This book tore my heart out. Even though it is a work of fiction, there are women who live the lives described in this book. As heartwrenching as this book was for me, there was a lot of hope that I took from the book. The love and bond between the two women was inspiring to me. Books like this one open our eyes to a lot of things that all of us living in this country really need to see. And for that I am truly grateful to Khaled Hosseini. I hope that he continues to create wonderful stories like this one.
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