My rating: 5 of 5 stars
When a book is focused mostly on women, I love reading about it. When a book is focused on women fighting a hell of a battle, I love reading about it. When a book, that’s mostly focused on women and their battles for survival makes me cry, it gets five stars on Goodreads.
A Thousand Splendid Suns was one of the many books that was sent to me by my good friend Andrea, and now that I’ve flipped the last page and put the book to the side, I feel like I need to write and send a personal little thank you note for introducing this book to me.
I must be the only person on the planet who had not heard of Khaled Hosseini, but I certainly know him now. From the very first page of the book, I was gripped by the story and by Mariam, who quickly became one of my favourite characters. Laila, who was introduced a little later, got to me in a similar fashion, but it was Mariam who was my favourite.
The story about the two women really did not connect at first, which confused me as I had read the back, and I remember thinking “how can this little girl become immportant in Mariam’s life?” Well, that question got answered pretty quickly and once that ball started rolling, this book became a giant trainwreck of emotions.
There were so many characters you were ‘free’ to hate, so to speak, there were so many unlikeable characters that the battle and struggles of the two women only made me root for them more. They had to win, they had to be victorious, they had to have a happy ever after.
I really enjoyed reading about Tariq and Laila, and I must say that they were my little OTP of this book (honestly, I never thought I’d actually have an OTP in this book, so I was surprised by my own shipping). Having them separated, having them go through so many horrible things, having to make decisions that would both change them for life — horrifying to read and completely impossible to imagine what it would be like. More than once when I’d read a situation Laila would be put into, I’d go, “I wouldn’t be able to deal with this.”
I especially enjoyed the descriptions of everything, it helped paint a very vivid picture of their surroundings and what was going on. The descriptions of all the individuals in the story were also very well written, and basically made everyone stand out a little on their own.
The small parts about the government and the rising and falling of rulers was a little on the yawn side, but that’s what happens when I get in contact with politics, so I won’t hold it as a flaw. Even though it wasn’t the most entertaining part to read, it still served to make the story better.
Like I said, Mariam was my favourite character and her ending got to me the most because of that. I wept like a little baby, I had to put my book away and just cry for a good ten minutes before I allowed myself to pick the book up again. She went through so, so much, had to endure so, so much, and the end to her story was so fitting that it wrecked through me.
It has been a while since I’ve had a good cry over a book, but that is what ultimately gave this book five stars from my side. It is such a horrifying story, the amount of suffering these women in these areas went through, that I couldn’t possibly wrap my head around what that must be like. And still, I was the one crying in bed and muffling my sobs against a pillow. That is how you recognize a good story, and that is when you know you’ve done a fantastic job.