Genre: Historical fiction
After reading The Kite Runner by the same author and thoroughly enjoying it, reading this book was a natural thing to do. They aren't part of a series, but the way Hosseini writes is so smooth, lyrical, and very descriptive. I couldn't resist reading his newest book, and that's obviously what I did.
Close to a generation apart, Laila and Mariam live in Afghanistan, a nation struggling with war. They're both forced to marry Rasheed, a controlling and abusive husband who is several decades older than them. We follow both these women as they attempt to fight for their rights, protect their families, and survive in this dangerous and unfair time in history.
This book is brutally honest. The horrors that Hosseini shows us are disturbing, revolting, shocking, and sadly true. The main focus of this book is how women in Afghanistan are abused, oppressed, ignored, and are treated like slaves for their "male guardians". While reading, I wanted to scream, throw this book against the wall, tear out the pages, and literally go to this country myself and try to talk some sense into these ignorant and arrogant men. The sheer unfairness that Hosseini displays is sickening. I can't stress enough how frustrated I was while reading A Thousand Splendid Suns! But I'm not criticizing the author. Rather, I'm congratulating him. It takes talent to make readers feel this way using only words, and Hosseini did this beautifully.
"Learn this now and learn it well, my daughter: Like a compass needle that points north, a man's accusing finger always finds a woman. Always. You remember that, Mariam."
To support the engrossing plot that Hosseini has created, some gorgeous language was used. Through his words, you could feel his passion and love for Afghanistan. The way he describes the mountains, the animals, the music, the food, the atmosphere, is so rich with culture that you forget you're reading a book. I truly got carried away with the imagery and floated off to Afghanistan to be with Laila and Mariam. What you experience while reading A Thousand Splendid Suns is real.
I honestly have nothing negative to say about this novel. This is yet another strong, emotional read from Khaled Hosseini that is sure to bring you close to tears.
Recommendation: I strongly recommend this to people who have read an enjoyed The Kite Runner. But if you haven't, I still recommend this to you! I think this is a book that everyone - man, woman, young, old - will fall in love with.