A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS!!!
‘A thousand splendid suns’ is second novel of Khaled Hosseini, an American novelist and physician of Afghan origin.The story revolves around the volatile events of Afghanistan which they are facing for last three decades. The protagonist of the story are two womens namely Mariam and Laila.The story is divided into three parts.First part focuses on Mariam.Second on Laila.And third focuses on both.
Mariam lives in a kolba on the outskirts of Herat with her mother. Jalil, her father, is a wealthy man who lives in town. Because Mariam is his illegitimate daughter, she cannot live with him, but Jalil visits her every Thursday.Mariam is very fond of him and wishes, her father to take her to see movie at his movie theater.Her dream turns into nightmare when her father doesn’t show up and also refuses to see her when she visits his place in town.When Mariam returns home with her broken dreams she finds her mother hanging herself on a tree out of fear that Mariam has deserted her. Mariam is then taken to live in her father’s house.Being illegitimate daughter Jalil is ashamed of her existence and arranges for her to be married to Rasheed, a shoemaker from Kabul who is thirty years elder to her.Marital life of Mariam gets worser when she is not able to carry a child even after getting pregnant successively.Mariam’s lives her life in fear of Rasheed’s shifting moods,his volatile temperament which makes her life nothing but hell, until she finds ‘companion’.
Laila the other protagonist of the story.Born to liberal parents,Laila’s childhood is just opposite to that of Mariam’s.She gets love from both her parents.She is one of the lucky Afghan girl who gets to go to school.Tariq,Laila’s neighbour and also her best friend which later turns into her boyfriend.The path from “Friendship” to “Love” of theirs is very nicely depicted.Hosseini succeeds to make you fall in love with both the characters.Laila’s life take a great turn when a rocket is launched on her home by a faction trying to take control of Kabul.Her beloved boyfriend, Tariq,leaves Kabul with his family and settles into Pakistan leaving, her all alone.Laila who is left behind with just memories of her parents and Tariq,finds herself unconscious in the house of Mariam’s and Rasheed’s.After learning Tariq’s death,she marries Rasheed.Mariam finds Laila her rival and gets accused for stealing her husband.The rift between Laila and Mariam narrows as the story progresses.They end up being best of friends and try to shield each other from Rasheed’s rages and demands.
Hosseini has not only proved successful in showing the volatile environment of Afghanistan but also the emotional bonding which grows between the two womens.The feeling of ‘hope’ in the minds of an Afghan women even after struggling for three decades is hidden message.Words like ‘hamshira’,’kolba’,’jo’ and many more gives an Afghan flavour to the story.
In short,a masterpiece from Hosseini.It’s definitely worth reading and will leave tear drops even on the people who claim to be “stone hearted”.