A good book has the ability to engage us for the duration of the read….but a great book has the ability to linger with us long after the last words have been read. A great book, has us enthralled from the very first page…It has us living and breathing the landscape of the novel…It transports us to a different time and place; and it makes us feel like one of the characters, a silent observer on the constantly turning pages. A truly great book impacts us the way a good book can’t. It leaves us with food for thought, it touches our hearts, and creates an impact on our souls…
Khaled Hosseini is a truly gifted novelist. After writing the bestselling novel The Kite Runner, it was always going to be difficult to do a follow up; but A Thousand Splendid Suns didn’t disappoint and remains one of my favourite reads of all time; and so is this book!!
Set once again against the backdrop of Kabul, we get to take a journey through Afghanistan pre war until present day war torn Afghanistan, and I’m sure, quite deliberately, Hosseini highlights various consequences the war has left on families…One almost gets the feeling that the social decline in Afghanistan highlighted in the book, deeply mirrors Hosseini’s own emotions of helplessness as an Afghan born American.
Hosseini manages to peel away the many layers of all the characters in the most alluring way; and just when you think you’ve figured out who the victim and who the villain of the tale is…he gracefully unravels another layer that has one thinking a bit deeper about life and sobbing at the same time.
There are so many intricate layers of this book that will have you thinking (and heartbroken) for days on end…it had me awake till the early hours of the morning because I simply could not put it down, and even after I put it down, I simply cannot forget. The themes highlighted are very real and very relevant today, with the core theme revolving around Family… How we love, nurture, wound, betray, honour and sacrifice for one another…the choices we make to save it, and the choice we make to survive it, and how those choices echoes for generations.
Time, distance and circumstances might separate us…but in the end…the bond that is family, will inevitably reunite us all!!