I have been asking Jenn since reading The Kite Runner to sit through an entire audio book with me. It took a few more books, and I finally convinced her. So for the past few weeks when it is my turn to drive my car we have been listening to an audio book, this one A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini the same author of The Kite Runner one of my favorite books of all time. This book however not necessarily the same sort of up beat tempo as his original. If you read the reviews of Khaled's sophomore trial you would think that this book was going to be even better, and I have to say I was a bit let down. However when you consider The Kite Runner easily being one of my Top 3 favorite books of all time, thats a tough measure to surpass.
Without giving a lot of the story away, A Thousand Splendid Suns follows the lives of two Afghani women who both have major struggles in their lives. The book focuses a lot on the struggles that these women and many other Afghani women have to face even to this day. More then anything this book was a wakeup call to not on the class struggle in Afghanistan but also the effects on religious rule.
My biggest problem with the book was that it was a bit slow. Not that I wanted there to be more struggle, because there was plenty of it. I just think, and Jenn agrees, that there were a few portions that didn't need to be in the final draft. WIth that being said I have to give Khaled Hosseini credit, he is one brilliant writer. He is working with many readers including myself who know very little to nothing about Afghanistan but after reading this book I feel like I know the streets of Kabul. The way he brings things to life, and the shear magnificence of even the smallest detail is one of his strongest suits.
I have to say that even with it being a bit slow I still really enjoyed this novel, and find Khaled to be one of my favorite new authors. He has such talent, and the stories he tells are things that you just don't forget, there unique. Fans of The Kite Runner, or really anyone just interested in our fellow humans in the middle east this is not only a good tale, it is a good education lesson as well.
"One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs / Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls"