Monday, December 12, 2011

A Thousand Splendid Suns

I’ve been a fan of Khaled Hosseini after I read the book, The Kite Runner. My landlady asks me to create a book report on it. I thought that the book was really excellent. It has something heartwarming on it. My interest in Hosseini’s work intensified that I started reading about Afghanistan in the office.

That was also the time I learned about A Thousand Splendid Suns.

A Thousand Splendid Suns was a story about two Afghan girls – Miriam and Laila. Miriam, an illegitimate child, never have a happy life, her mother committed suicide because she chose her father over her mom. She was then force by her father to marry a man who was old enough to be her uncle. She lost her baby seven consecutive times. Lastly, she was badly beaten by her husband. Poor girl.

Laila, on the other hand, was born on the same neighborhood where Miriam and Rasheed (Miriam’s husband) lived. She was way younger than the two and has a childhood sweetheart named Tariq. When the war in Afghanistan started and people started moving out of the country for safety, Tariq ask Laila to marry him. She refused Tariq’s offer, and when her family decided to leave Kabul, her parents were killed by a rocket. Rasheed and Miriam found her under the crashed structure and advised her to leave with them.

Here was the fun part; Laila was Rasheed’s second wife. Laila accepted the offer because she have Tariq’s baby.

They started as enemies but as the story progressed, Laila and Miriam became more than friends, they started treating each others like families. Rasheed, the mad man that he was, badly beat his wives. There was even a part where the two of them, including Laila’s baby, were deprived with water, when the two of them tried to escape Kabul. In the end, Rasheed was killed by Miriam when he tried to kill Laila because Tariq was back in the picture.

Miriam suffered a painful death under the Taliban’s rule. Laila, however, returned to Afghanistan to become a teacher when the war was over.

What was so cool about the book was, aside from sharing the two girls’ story, it also features the story of Afghanistan – how the war started, how the Taliban came to power, how they got defeated, stuff like that. It’s like reading a history book with the touch of drama on it.

It was a sad book. Really, most of the time while I was reading it, I was sincerely hoping that it was really fiction and stuff like that never happened. But, it was Afghanistan and for sure torture and brutality happened. Reading the book made me so thankful that I am here in Manila and not in a place where watching television was prohibited while growing beard was a must. I started feeling fortunate that I was able to eat three times a day while in Kabul, people has to send their children to orphanages just to feed them. I’m happy living in a free country, though sometimes things get rough, we still survived.

After I read the book, I promised myself that I will try to stop complaining on stuff that are not even worthy to complain about. I know, things may get hard sometimes, but we don’t know what is happening somewhere else. Sometimes, whatever we have right now, how minute or grand it may seems, we still have to be thankful for all the blessings that we receive.

All of a sudden, I want to go to Kabul. Haha.


  1. oh man you know i think sometimes we really complain a lot not thinking how much worse others have it. the book sounds cool. i love the title. it's so interesting.

  2. @PM, the title of the book comes from a poem with the same title. Right now, I'm thinking why that was used. :)