And what a splendid sunny summer we had this year. This evening’s Book Club was held on the patio, in the light of the dimming sun and the comfortable evening heat. There were sandwiches, cheese and crackers, nibbles and of course, the well deserved jug of my finest PIMMs cocktail. Heaven!
Sitting comfortably on the patio chair, listening intently to the discussion, was a new addition to the family in the form a stray calico cat. Two months later and said cat is still here, now comfortably residing on the conservatory chair and given freedom of the home! Welcome Georgie
A Thousand Splendid Suns! What can I say? What a book! As Lewis remarked – and I’d like to welcome Lewis, our newest member to Book club – the book is beautifully written and really moving.
There was so much discussion during the evening that is is quite impossible for me to write it all out here but it was agreed that this is one one of the best books we have read. Briefly, it tells the story of two women, Mariam and Laila, and their struggles for life in a society that thinks they should not be allowed to happily live. It sends out a clear message that women are worth nothing. Set in Afghanistan and covering Afghan history from before the Soviet war until after the Taliban rule, the violence that emerged from this period of time resulted in the inevitable brutality towards women. Under the Qur’an, a man was entitled to have up to four wives, and he was supposed to treat them all equally. On any one day he could announce that he wanted to end a liaison with one of his wives. He would repeat three times “I divorce thee” and that was the end of the marriage. Many women were simply thrown out of the family home on to the streets where they would continue their days as street beggars. But what was remarkable about these women, as portrayed in the book in the form of Nana, however, was their instinct for survival and embracing what life they had as best they could.
The writing is gorgeous without being longwinded, the characters are so exquisitely fleshed out. It’s also one of those rare books that’s pretty melancholy throughout the duration of the book, but something about getting to the ending just really makes us want to believe that Hossisni’s dream for a happy Afghanistan without oppression is a possibility. A Thousand Splendid Suns is an unforgettable portrait of a broken country and a deeply moving story of family and friendship. It is a beautiful, heart-wrenching story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely bond and an indestructible love.
Read more about Khaled Hosseini who was so moved by his experiences in Afghanistan and the writing of A Thousand Splendid Suns that he founded the Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help Afghans in need—especially Afghan women. Visit these websites and as usual if you have anything to add to this post, please do. Thank you for visiting.