Mar 6, 2010

5) A Thousand Splendid Suns

Original Title: A Thousand Splendid Suns
Turkish Title: Bin Muhteşem Güneş
English Title: A Thousand Splendid Suns
Author: Khaled Hoessini
Pages: 430
Rating: 5/5
Applicable Challenges: 50 Books A Year
My sister and I were wandering in the city center when we decided to check a few book stores. There were many copies of this book together with “The Kite Runner”. I was planning to read both books for quite some time. After spending more than a quarter of an hour, trying to decide which one to read first, I decided to read Hoessini’s second book first, “A Thousand Splendid Suns”.
The story is basically about the events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years, starting with the Soviet invasion until the post-Taliban period. The story of two generations, their struggle for survival, their hopes, their dreams, their horrors, their sorrows, their happiness and the depth of their friendship and love is told in such a unique way that it is impossible for reader to be senseless to the events. The book has four parts: Part one is about Mariam, parts two and four are about Laila and the third part is about both Mariam and Laila.
The first thing I really liked about the book was the names of the characters. We use more or less the same names in Turkish, Meryem for Mariam, Celil for Jalil, Rasit for Rasheed, Leyla for Laila and Tarik for Tariq. Living in a Muslim country, I also felt really related with the Islamic setting and transition.

It was a really touching book for me not only because I am a woman in a Muslim country but also the historical transition of Afghanistan was told in such a unique way. Although it is one of those type of books that you can read in one sit, I had to stop reading it a few times just to take a breather: The story itself is quite depressing. At the end, it is sad but true. Lastly, considering the last decade’s political transition in Turkey, I can’t help worrying about my country.

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