Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Thousand Splendid Suns

by Khaled Hosseini

Mariam is just five years old when she hears the word harami for the first time. She is harami an illegitimate child. She lived in poverty with her mother while her father a wealthy man, lived with his wife and kids in a big house. He was visiting Mariam and she adored her father and was always happiest when they were together. The only thing she dreamed about was to be with him always. So one day she decides to visit her father in his house. From there all the tragic things start in her life. Because she has gone to see her father, her mother kills herself. Now Mariam has no place to stay, so Jalil, her father, takes her to his house. She was only fifteen when Jalil told her that she was going to marry Rasheed – an older man from Kabul. They got married and all is well until they discover that Mariam can’t have children, from that day Rasheed changes, he is unhappy about everything she does, he ignores her, doesn’t talk to her, if he does he yells at her and beats her. Mariam has come to accept it, but then Rasheed brings home an orphan named Laila, a young beautiful girl, who was hurt when a bomb hit her house. Rasheed and Mariam are taking care of her until she recovers. When she finally gets well, Rasheed asks her to marry him. He adores her and is always sweet to her so when Laila gets pregnant, he’s happier than he ever. Now Mariam is suffering even more as he gets more and more rude with her. In his mind he is fair to both of them and explains it like this: “if Mariam was a car she would be a Volga, but Laila would be a Benz. A brand-new, first class, shiny Benz”. A Few days later everything changes in Laila’s life forever…

This is my first book by Khaled Hosseini, but it won’t be my last. The author himself is from Afghanistan and all the things he writes about were really shocking to me, especially about all the women in Afghanistan. How abused and submissive they are, I couldn’t stop feeling their pain. The story was deeply moving, with unexpected twists, surprises and heartbreaking. An unforgettable book.

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