Khaled Hosseini – A Thousand Splendid Suns

A thousand splendid suns                Third – and last, so far – book by Khaled Hosseini that I have read; and that was published. I have chosen this book because I liked his Kite Runner and because I learnt to appreciate Khaled’s special way of writing about his own home country.

Anyway, this book tells about the unusual and unexpected friendship between two women, who are brought together by circumstances. As Khaled’s two previous novels I read, it also tells about Afghanistan, the wars that tore it apart, and its effects on people. Unlike the other two, though, it focuses solely on women and is told from their perspective, though in third-person narrative.

Everything that deals with war and its aftermath goes deeply into my heart and the core of my being. I loathe war and I am terrified of it. Therefore, books like this, although – or maybe because – they’re not on the battlefield, touch something deep inside of me. War is killing innocent people and destroying their homes, their families – their lives.

That is one of the subjects touched in the novels. However, the book is much more than that. It tells about the history of Afghanistan throughout about half a century; it tells about various relationships between people, of resilience, of bad treatment of women in Afghan culture – to name just a few.

I have reached this point in the review with real difficulty and I am starting to wonder why. I don’t have problems with writing, it usually just goes on smoothly and I can finish a review in 5 minutes (regardless of mistakes, and I’m sure I make plenty). This seems forced, though. I think now I know why.

I read this book pretty fast, mostly because the story moved forward pretty smoothly. It was quite interesting and had this “aftermath of war” theme that always touches me deeply. It had a great beginning.

And that would be it.

It missed something that I cannot name. Maybe it was the fact that the most prominent rule of this book seemed to be “when you think the worst have happened – think again.” Seriously, so many terrible things happen it made me cringe. Yes, I know. This is war. This is a man I will never understand – i.e. “traditional Muslim” who insist on women wearing the burke and on beating the hell out of them. I kept on telling this to myself over and over again while reading, and yet the only thing that came to my mind at the end was “this was ridiculously sad.”

Yeah, I know.

Also, I thought the characters were rather flat and one-dimensional. I did love a few of minor ones, who probably shouldn’t have more dept to them, cause they were well, minor. The main ones, though, were pretty unbelievable. I don’t know, though. Maybe it’s my problem. Maybe I’ve become too critical nowadays. It seems like I have a problem with almost every book I read.

Or it’s just this day. I guess I’m tired from sitting at school for the WHOLE weekend.

That’s beside the point, though.

Despite my inability to point out the exact problem with the book, as I said I didn’t have any problems with finishing it. I shed a few tears, and was genuinely moved. And for sure if/when Khaled Hosseini writes a new novel, I will at least start reading it. So, it couldn’t have been that bad, after all.


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