A thousand splendid suns is the second novel of Khaled Hosseini. Two women, Laila and Mariam, with lives very different from each other are striving to survive in the soviet ruled Afghanistan. After the soviets are ousted, the Mujahideens start war amongst themselves, and the bad state of Afghanistan turns worse. There are firings killing innocent people. Its utter chaos all over.
Both these women have endured their share of misfortune in the dying state of Afghanistan. Its only when things seem to have gotten bad, they realise that there is more to happen yet. And thats when their paths cross in the most unusual of ways.
Mariam is a woman who has always been deprived of parental love and does not have children also. Her husband, Rasheed, is 30 yrs older to her and a tyrant. He doesnt let her do anything.
Laila is a woman who loses everything that was dear to her in the war: her brothers, her friends, her parents, and finally even her love, Tariq. She is forced to marry Rasheed and thus meets Mariam.
What starts as cold war, ends up bringing the women together! Mariam is the mother Laila always wanted, and Laila is the daughter Mariam had always hoped for. So, even though they are married to the same man, they share a very different bond.
The writing style is fabulous, not once do you feel the book being dragged. The characterisations are perfect. You know exactly how a particular character will react. Its beautiful.
The only negative I could think of is that the book is very depressing. I would actually go through bouts of depression reading the book. The first 3/4th book is extremely negative. So, its quite heavy that ways. But, the form oef expression is so powerful, it transcends you to the Taliban dominated Afghanistan and you can imagine the kind of life people led then!
Luckily, the end is hopeful and good… and gives the reader a hope for a better day…!!!