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A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini January 30, 2010

Posted by KJ theBookGirl in review.
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A Thousand Splendid Suns paperback by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a book you will never forget, for it’s beautiful characters, intricate plot, and heart wrenching tale lives on long after the last page is turned, made all the more tragically striking with the truth and honesty in the setting, history and ideas portrayed.

“Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed. Nearly two decades later, a friendship grows between Mariam and a local teenager, Laila, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter.  When the Taliban take over, life becomes a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. Yet love can move people to act in unexpected ways, and lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with startling heroism.”

The plot follows two tales, each unwrapping the events creating the coming of age of a young girl, forced for one reason or another, to assign her life to misery, pain, loss and cruelty.

Mariam, unloved and resented, discovers betrayal and guilt, and, as a strong minded character who can endure if nothing else must live with what she feels are the consequences.

Laila, a partially cherished yet partially overlooked daughter, grows up with Tariq – a friend and boy next door, he is everything to her. Yet, with disaster and horror, Laila too must put together a life destroyed by surroundings, religion and power.

These tales are told within Afghanistan, following years of communism and Taliban rule, the chronological modern history of the country, and  the implications for the working class people who must live between rockets and bullets, and obey the strict laws from Shari’ a to communist.

The story is beautiful, although extremely tragic, and it will wrench at your heart for Hosseini’s talent swells in this novel, making you truly feel for the characters, and understand their lives.

Sensational.

KJ
theBookGirl

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini May 28, 2009

Posted by KJ theBookGirl in review.
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The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

A STORY OF FATHERS AND SONS, FRIENDSHIP AND BETRAYAL, AND THE CASUALTIES OF FATE

1970s Afghanistan: Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the local kite-fighting tournament and his loyal friend Hassan promises to help him. But neither of the boys can forsee what will happen to HAssan that afternoon, an event that is to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return to an Afghanistan under Taliban rule to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption”

The plot of The Kite Runner could easily be described as a bildungroman as it is primarily is a tale of growing up. However, it has quite a few twists making it different from your average coming-of-age story, including the setting, the dangers and the comparison given between Amir and his best friend Hassan. 

The novel begins with Amir, who is our narrator, looking back from adulthood to an event which occured when he was 12. We soon learn that this event has changed a lot about him, affected him throughout his life and is a pinpoint of realisation for him. The story then tells of what happened then and what os happening now which leads the reader on a very powerful journey where we are overcome with a whole hoard of emotions.

This is one of those rare books where the main character not onl has flaws (as any realistic character has) but could also be accused of being “the bad guy” rather than the innocent victim who is just misunderstood or undervalued. Yet we still love him, despite everything he does, and I suppose its his courage to tell us, the humble readers, his story which makes us love him so.

The characters are all realistic and perfectly displayed, the plot reveals its mysteries at times perfect for suspense. The delicate issues are well written and brilliantly portrayed. Overall it is an inspirational book in every way.

Bad points? 

Well I personally found it hard to come to terms with all the names as they are, of course, not English and therefore unusual to me. This isn’t a bad poitn so much as a thing to be aware of if you, too, sturggle to get to grips with different pronounciations. Clearly, if it did use English names it would ruin the book as it is part of the understanding of the culture.

The well accounted descriptions of history and current events occuring in Afghanistan, too, is well written with a great depth of knowledge and quest for the reader’s understanding.

In conclusion this novel is well written and you honestly will not be able to put it down. Well worth a read!

KJ
theBookGirl