Sunday, August 5, 2007
Book #28: The Thousand Splendid Suns
Title: The Thousand Splendid Suns
Author: Khaled Hosseini
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you've probably heard me wax rhapsodic about Khaled Hosseini's first novel, The Kite Runner (usually in conjunction with how people in my book group are always too squeamish to read it). Anyway, I had really, really high expectations for The Thousand Splendid Suns. I've been waiting to read it ever since I saw Hosseini give a talk on Book TV two years ago, in which he talked about how he was writing a new novel about Afghan women.
So I had unrealistically high expectations when it came to reading The Thousand Splendid Suns.
And I'm pleased to say, that those expectations were met. Exceeded even. Yes, as Eddie pointed out, the first fifty pages of the novel were pretty slow. And yes, it's hard for those of us who live easy lives in America to fathom the kind of suffering that Hosseini's Afghan women go through. But even if most people don't suffer to the degree that Laila and Mariam do (and I hope they don't), very few people have the gift with words that Hosseini does.
I read the book in a 24-hour span. I usually only do that with fluffy Harlan Coben or Shopaholic novels. But I totally immersed myself in Laila and Mariam's world, and emerged, sobbing, the next day.
If you haven't read it yet, and it's on your list-- don't wait. I got this book from the library, and I'm still planning to buy it in hardcover-- it's just one of those books that I want to have in my personal collection.
--originally published 7/29/07