Book Review: A Thousand Splendid Suns

This was a good book to pick up at the start of the new year. A Thousand Splendid Suns definitely turned out to be a thousand splendid read. It was a big eye-opener to an oblivious like me who used to see Afghanistan as just another country somewhere in Asia. I just have to take my hats off to the equally splendid author of this bestseller, Khaled Hosseini, who brought his readers up close to the toughest last three decades that the Afghans had to endure. Perhaps the most heart-wrenching was the plight of women during the abusive Taliban rule in the 90’s. Afghan women were stripped of their rights to education and work, and were ordered to cover themselves from head to foot when going out in public. In this dark age happened the most unthinkable brutalities to women as the husbands demanded for subservience.

Unlike The Kite Runner (Hosseini’s first novel) which was a page turner, this second installment required more patience from the readers as the author slowly wove the connection of his main characters while the story progressed. Hosseini used his time and tested formula of vivid and descriptive writing to once again capture the emotions of the readers and make A Thousand Splendid Suns another thoroughly engaging novel to read.

In this modern age, it is difficult to imagine that the practice of arranged marriages still exists somewhere across the globe. It is hard to fathom a man who will want to father only a son, and maltreat a daughter whose only fault is her womanhood. It is insane to think that there’s a law that’s blind to the abusive ways of husbands to their wives; beating them as they please. My gadh. And all this time, a lot of us Filipinos have taken for granted our gift of democracy. Maybe it’s quite timely that for the start of Year 2008, let’s take a moment to realize that we have a thousand splendid reasons to be thankful for the life we live. :)

Btw, A Kite Runner will be in the cinemas soon! Happy 2008 everyone!
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