One of the things that I love most about books, is their ability to transport you to a time and place that you would never be able to experience otherwise.
This is precisely what Hosseini’s exquisitely crafted novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, does for the reader. While I haven’t read Hosseini’s debut novel, The Kite Runner, this second story is a triumph.
It follows the lives of two Afghan women, Mariam and Laila, fighting to survive under Soviet rule, civil war and the Taliban. The themes that Hosseini explores include the role of women in Islam, masculinity and the power of truth. Hosseini is subtle in his exploration of these topics, showing husbands and fathers to be cruel to these two women, yet also showing the nuances of their roles through the redemptive characters of Tariq and Babi.
All in all this is an excellently weaved narrative which is both moving and insightful. I did pair this book with several wines, but in respect of Islamic tradition I’ll let you discover your own pairing for this story.