Sunday, 14 December 2014

Review: 'A Thousand Splendid Suns'

Khaled Hosseini  (‘The Kite Runner’) is a best-selling Afghan-American author.

They say that you should write about what you know.

Khaled Hosseini certainly has me believing in a world that is both horrifying and exquisite.  There is human suffering on an unimaginable scale, tempered by compassion, and friendships forged in the most hostile environments.  Characters are beautifully drawn, so that we walk in their footsteps, travelling with them along paths that offer hope in the midst of war and oppression.  Mariam and Laila, women of their time, are skilfully brought together, their sufferings shared and made tolerable by a mutual empathy that allows these women to bear with integrity and stoicism the lives they have had no part in choosing. 

We learn about an Afghanistan wracked with brutal traditions, aggressive regimes and a divided people, not through dry documentary, but via the experiences of the characters we have come to care deeply about.  We are shown the vastness of the land, its ancient monuments and close communities, its mountains and deserts.  Khaled Hosseini is a true master of the written word and, as we find out in the author’s final notes at the end of the book, a man of principle, who takes an active interest in the future of his country.

Highly recommended.  

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1 comment:

  1. I must read one of his books. I must! Sounds totally riveting, Bev.