A Thousand Splendid Suns, as I suspected, is a beautiful and emotionally involved story. It is a novel that takes the lives of two Afghan women and magnifies the struggle and pain they had to endure in the hands of their own country. Although the story of Mariam and Laila is fictional, Khaled Hosseini does a magnificent job in making it clear that this story is as close to the truth as we may be able to get during that time of war in Afghanistan.
I was first introduced to Mariam, a young girl who is “illegitimate” because of being conceived out of wedlock. I followed her abandonment, her suffering and deep regret to a marriage that was forced upon her. She never really did have a chance to enjoy her childhood–she had to tend to the duties of the new man in her life. Someone nearly 25 years her senior. It is through this move, though, that Mariam meets Laila.
Of course my heart goes out to Mariam and during many times while reading, my eyes filled with water. But I had to think: if Mariam had never been given away to marriage, she would have never been able to find the happiness she did in Laila.
This is the type of book that will, without a doubt, have you anxiously turning every page. Squeezing in your own ounces of faith that something good will come out of all this. You will begin to believe in every single character–regardless if you hate some more than others. You will find yourself screaming at the pages, predicting the next words, as you would if watching a good movie. You will find yourself heartfelt, holding your chest and pushing back your tears. You will find yourself doing research on Khaled Hosseini in trying to figure out how such a breathtaking story could flow off the fingertips of a human being. You will find yourself thanking Khaled Hosseini for sharing such a story that made you feel completely ignorant to suffering.