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Cries from Afghanistan

A Thousand Splendid Suns- Book Review

"Each snowflake was a sigh heard by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the world. All the sighs drifted up the sky, gathered into clouds, then broke into tiny pieces that fell silently on the people below. As a reminder of how women suffer"

A Thousand Splendid Suns is nothing less than a masterful story with suspenseful twists and turns.

The setting of the book is identical to its antecedents- The Kite Runner and The Mountains Echoed. Based on the despair times of Afghanistan, the book paints a vivid image of decaying Afghanistan under the erratic and conflicting powers.

This is the tale of a young girl, Mariam who was born out of wedlock in the city of Herat. Living with her mother in a desolate part of the city, Mariam was ingenuous. A silly hope of acceptance, an impulsive mistake turns Mariam’s life. At the age of 15, she is married off to a 40-year-old man Rasheed. The possibility that seemed like a fresh new start was very soon stained when she discovered that the man she married was a tyrant. From a bubbling girl, she was now belittled to a dutiful wife who was at the mercy of her husband. (read: men). How long will she endure it?

In the neighborhood another girl is born, Laila. Growing up in a well-educated family, she was the girl of the new generation. The one who speaks against injustice. But what would she do when faced with oppression? Life has its way and soon she loses everyone she cares about. The war first mentally ripped apart her once happy family if that was not enough the dropping bombs physically wiped them out. An unforgiving sin gives Laila the will to live but are the choices that she makes the right one?

When Rasheed marries Laila, a new set of events takes place. A deep friendship develops between Laila and Mariam but how far will it go?

A land where it is a crime for a woman to step out of their house to see their children. A land that forbids women to speak or laugh without permission. Laila and Mariam set out on a brave journey- to find freedom in a man’s world. The question is will they Succeed?

The story is a brilliant tale of feminism and startling heroism. It's a fable of endurance and courage. Khaled does a confounding job in illustrating the plight and cry of the once vibrant city of Afghanistan. The characterization and setting of the book will make it one of the best books you have ever read.

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