A Thousand Splendid Suns

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Author: Khaled Hosseini

Page Count:402

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, War

Book Synopsis: Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed. Nearly two decades later, a friendship grows between Mariam and a local teenager, Laila, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. When the Taliban take over, life becomes a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, and lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism.

Movie Adaptation: (In Development)

Hosseini’s panache for story-telling never fails to touch souls and he has done it again with this second debut novel! A story set in the initial three decades of the war-ridden Afghanistan, with powerful characters whose voice resonates deep within the reader; a masterpiece has been created yet again!

Hosseini weaves up this heartbreaking story about friendship in times of despair. Friendship has always been the main theme of Hosseini’s books (See The Kite Runner).

It will restore your faith in humanity, it’ll make you see the human in humanity; tell you that even in this cruel, cruel world, there are a handful of genuinely good people out there. It will open your eyes to the effect of war, that war is nothing but mindless and selfish; whose triumph may be pompous but results in killing of thousands of innocents, orphans sons and daughters, widows husbands and wives and displaces homes.

There were moments where  I had to literally put the book down for a moment and stare blankly at the wall and let the event sink in!

Here’s how it starts:

Mariam was five years old the first time she heard the word harami.

It happened on a Thursday. It must have, because Mariam remembered that she had been restless and preoccupied that day, the way she was only on Thursdays, the day when Jalil visited her at the kolba. To pass the time until the moment that she would see him at last, crossing the knee-high grass in the clearing and waving, Mariam had climbed a chair and taken down her mother’s Chinese tea set. The tea set was the sole relic that Mariam’s mother, Nana, had of her own mother, who had died when Nana was two. Nana cherished each blue-and-white porcelain piece, the graceful curve of the pot’s spout, the hand-painted finches and chrysanthemums, the dragon on the sugar bowl, meant to ward off evil.

It’ll make you re-realize the power of time, that everything is momentary, dynamic. One moment it’s right in front of your eyes, the next moment… poof!

The story is full of suspense; the next chapter would be based on a completely different scenario, on completely different emotions involving the same characters!

If you look back after finishing this book, scan through the book, you will realize the long way each character has come, the long way you have gone through to be the person you are at that specific moment!

Finally, if I haven’t made it clear earlier, I REQUEST you to give it this one a read!

Reviews:

Critics: 4.3/5

I’d rate it: 4.9/5

And the Mountains Echoed

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Page Count: 402

Genre: Historical fiction,  Family Drama.

Book Synopsis: 

Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe – from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos – the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

This book had a deep, and I meant it when I say, deep deep impact in my life. I would be barking half truth if I didn’t say this book made me a better person!
Khaled obviates from his normal narrative style and adopts one in the form of a string of short stories and letters, written in the perspective of it’s different characters, which makes it more personal, more down-to -earth and more closer to the heart! This combined with Khaled’s writing makes a really touching journey. Khaled’s flair for his homely writing is ever so clear here, as was it in The Kite Runner.

Here’s how it goes:

FALL 1952

So, then. You want a story and I will tell you one. But just the one. Don’t either of you ask me for more. It’s late, and we have a long day of travel ahead of us, Pari, you and I. You will need your sleep tonight. And you too, Abdullah. I am counting on you, boy, while your sister and I are away. So is your mother. Now. One story, then. Listen, both of you, listen well. And don’t interrupt.

At the end of reading this book you will re-realise that nothing, nothing supersedes family.

Emotionally breath-taking, it hits you right in the feels, repeatedly! Nostalgia has never been more nostalgic!

Khaled dextrously glides over countries, and even generations to give you this heart-wrenching masterpiece!  It’ll make you feel homesick even though (if!) you’re at home! A powerful story which extends to the variety that makes up a family, that glue a family ; starting from your mum and dad right up to the caretaker!

It took me a while to pick the pieces back up and get over this book! Also, this book is probably the reason I require glasses now!

Ratings:

Critics: 4/5

I’d rate it: 27.4/5