Friday, July 27, 2007

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (audio)

This story takes place in Afghanistan and spans 30 years. The two main characters are Mariam and Laila. Mariam's mother was not married when she had Mariam. Mariam's father paid for the house that they lived in and gave them food...but she didn't see him much. Then when she is 15 her mother dies and her father forces her to marry, Rasheed, a 40 year-old-man who turns out to be abusive. He wants a son and unfortunately Mariam seems to always have a miscarriage. Laila is a neighbor to Mariam and Rasheed. She is smart and has a loving father and in love with her best friend. When Laila's parents are killed by a rocket, Rasheed offers to marry her and she says yes because she is pregnant and not married (although Rasheed doesn't know that). Mariam and Laila don't get along but due to certain events, they end up relying on each other and becoming very close. They must figure out how to survive Rasheed and the constant struggle and war in Afghanistan.
This was a very powerful book. I thought it was interesting because the book spans 30 years and the reader gets an idea of the struggle the country has been through, the change of power and what this means to the people. The story starts with women being able to hold jobs and show their face but then when there is a change of power, they are not allowed to work or be in public by themselves or show their face. I thought it was very interesting because at points in the book the author would give the year. I kept thinking gosh..what was I doing in 1980 or 1995, etc. I can't believe that I never knew about the struggle over there..but I was young and didn't watch the news (at least that is the excuse I am going with). This is the type of book that is a great bookclub book because there is so much to talk about and discuss. On Saturday I was working at my 2nd job and my manager asked if I had read this one and I mentioned i was currently listening to it. She was reading it as well and we ended up discussing the book off and on for several hours. We both thought it was an eye opener to learn about what these people are going through and have been through. I also mentioned that it makes be feel very fortunate to be living the US where I can work and wear what I want, etc. She agreed. I really liked The Kite Runner and think that if you have read that book and liked it, you will also like this one. I have talked to several people who said they liked this one over The Kite Runner. I don't know if I feel that same way..I think I like them both the same.
I have positives and negatives about listening to this book. The positive is that the reader has an accent (although very very easy to understand her) but she also pronounces the names correctly and can pronounce some of the other words, native language, correctly. I liked that part of it. The bad part is that this is the type of book that you have to pay attention to and because I was always driving, I found my mind wondering sometimes. So although I liked listening to it, not sure I would do it again for his novels just because I feel like I need to read it so they get all of my attention.

1 comment:

Lover of Books said...

I liked this one as well! It was very good! I am glad to hear you liked it. :)