One of those books that affect you, making you cry like a baby because it tugs at your heartstrings.
The core plot seems to meet my requirements. Following the lives of two women in their marriages and their war-torn nation, the story takes place in Afghanistan from the 1960s to the 1990s, covering the period from Soviet occupation to Taliban control. I was satisfied—yes, I will cry—after anticipating domestic violence, gory combat depictions, and a key topic of Afghan women’s persecution.
You will too, but not for the reasons you would think. More than what is mentioned above is covered in A Thousand Splendid Suns.
The book is divided into two distinct narratives. The first one is on Mariam when she is nine years old when she lives on the outskirts of Herat with her resentful mother and waits impatiently for her wealthy father’s once-weekly visits. As a harami—an illegitimate child—Mariam is subjected to stigma and blame from both her mother’s family and her father. Hosseini begins the book with an innocent toddler whom you quickly sympathize with and feel a dreadful need to grab the pages. Mariam learns early on in the narrative that her father’s love is hollow, and after her mother commits suicide, she is compelled to wed a man.
You repeatedly blinked. You wriggle. You scream in protest. Hosseini isn’t done, though.
Rasheed is a good man if a bit grouchy and archaic in his demeanor, but when everything is taken into account, Mariam’s life does not appear as bad. the miscarriage wasn’t yet. Then there were the repeated miscarriages.
Domestic violence? Yes, I was certain that they must exist.
Hosseini, though, takes a fresh approach. The husband’s painful past, which is similar to Mariam’s, makes you feel sorry for him even though it does not excuse his behavior.
The second story, about Laila, follows. A war-torn family that snatches her brothers away from her and, in turn, her mother’s love, an innocent young child with a guy as her best friend. Laila, an orphan ripped from her beloved, consents to marry Rasheed. The tales of these two spouses will have you in awe at the power of love in the face of adversity.
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Hosseini intersperses details on Afghanistan’s predicament throughout the book, but only in this chapter does it affect the plot. But he makes sure that it never serves as the novel’s main motivation, at least not in the voices of these two women. One is innocent, but concealing a dreadful secret, and the other, bitter with age and resenting her life, are both attempting to make do, muddle through life, and try to find joy through the gloom. They both set out on a long journey with a spark of optimism in their eyes.
A welcome contrast to Mariam and Laila’s complicated circumstances, Hosseini’s prose is straightforward and that is all it needs to be.
By the conclusion, you have a fire kindled within of you in addition to a tear. Above all else, it is a tale of hope and life, of the courage that comes with love and the unavoidable conflict that comes with being human. This story is wonderful and inspirational, and everyone should read it.