A Thousand Splendid Suns, an extroadinary novel

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a book written by Khalid Husseini based the lives of Afghan women . He takes the reader on a journey that centers on the lives of two very different Afghan women, but also discusses the  history of the country in that time and its effect on their lives.

The story starts with the life of Mariam, a 15 year old girl in Herat who lives with her bitter mother. She is the Harami  child of a local businessman, illegitimate because he had an affair with her mother, a servant in his house. even though He already had three wives. When Mariam steals away to visit her father one day, she’s refused entry to his house. By the time she returns home, her mother is hanging from a tree.

Now orphaned, her father is quick to marry her off to the first man who expresses an interest. Unfortunately, that man is Rasheed, a  bully many years her senior who takes her home and subjects her to a life of strict rules and introduces her to the burka. Things are passable at first, but as Mariam continues to miscarry Rasheed’s babies, he becomes increasingly abusive towards her.

The book moves on to Part 2 introducing the character of Laila, a girl who is born around the time Mariam moves to Kabul to live with Rasheed. Her family are far more liberal, and Laila’s mother is not forced to wear a burka. Her husband is a bookish man, who encourages his daughter to educate herself and gives her hopes of travel and a career. And as the political tensions in Kabul escalate, a rocket attack on the family home kills Laila’s parents, leaving her wounded. She’s dug out of the rubble and taken to Rasheed and Mariam’s house, where the two of them tend to her wounds and look after her.

At this point, the stories of Mariam and Laila begin to intertwine – all is not well at first, because Rasheed soon starts turning his attention to Laila. Mariam is incensed, but knows she has no say in his taking another wife. Even though Rasheed is so old at this point, we expect Laila to reject his offer of marriage, but she accepts without hesitation. This is a shocking turn of events, but we soon discover that Laila is pregnant to her childhood lover who moved away from the neighbourhood not long before her parents died.

And the story carries on from there onwards I recommend  this book its an amazing story. Once one reads it,


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