Khaled Hosseini has beautifully put the journey of these two strangers into 4 parts considering 51 chapters.This book is gripping and heartbreaking at the same time. You feel happy, sad, disappointed, pathetic and all at the same time. Yes! It's actually complicated to explain what kind of emotion you are into at a particular point of time. And that's the beauty of Khaled Hosseini's writing. He can make you experience mixed emotions at the same time making the scenario indistinguishable. Now, Let's jump to the plot of the novel.
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
A Thousand Splendid Suns is a plot set in Afghanistan during the 1960s. The story reflects a pure and pious form of love between two women who weren't related by blood but united by their hearts. Without even having any acquaintance of each other, they share an everlasting bond of a mother-daughter relationship.
Mariam, an illegitimate child of Jalil and Nana used to live near Herat, a small town in Afghanistan along with her mother. Jalil was a successful businessman who lived in Herat along with his three wives and children and Nana used to work there. Jalil used to visit Mariam once a week and told her stories and played with her. He occupied a special place in Mariam's heart, she wanted to go with him to his place and live with him. Since her mother was a despiteful and stubborn one and this made Mariam more eager to live with her father.
But life isn't what it seems. Unfortunate events took place and Nana committed suicide. Jalil took Mariam to his place, not with the intention of keeping her or educating her but to marry her. Mariam was married to Rasheed, a widowed shoemaker in Kabul who was way older than her. Her life seemed normal and quietly passing on busy with her chores until she suffered several miscarriages. Rasheed started abusing her both physically and emotionally.
Down the street where Mariam and Rasheed lived, a lovely, intelligent little girl was growing up fast with all the privileges. She admired her best friend, Tariq who was a sensible boy used to live nearby Laila's house. Laila's brothers lost their lives in a war between Afghanis and Soviets. It was just a matter of time when the war reached Kabul and the city was facing several bombardments. Tariq and his family left for Pakistan after these events. Several lives were destroyed and among those, Laila's parents also died and she herself was badly injured.
Mariam and Rasheed took care of her until she was fine enough to walk. She was dumbstruck by the news of her parents and meanwhile a man showed up saying that Tariq and his family was no more. Rasheed tried to make hay while the sun shines and thus offered a marriage proposal to Laila. Upon discovering that she was pregnant with Tariq's child and being in an unfortunate situation and dilemma of nowhere else to go, she agreed. She gave birth to a daughter, Aziza. Rasheed abused her and neglected her of being a girl. Mariam and Laila became close friends and confidants, their bond grew stronger and stronger. They decided to flew away from Kabul but got caught and faced the wrath of Rasheed where he almost killed Laila and Aziza.
After some time, Taliban grew full on its Power and Laila gave birth to her son, Zalmai. Rasheed couldn't make up to his sentiments that how happy he was. All of his love was for Zalmai. Due to the scarcity of food and other things in Kabul, Rasheed sent Aziza to an orphanage and her mother, Laila had to face Taliban each and every time she used to visit her daughter followed by the beatings of the Taliban.
One day Tariq showed up and they both were united again realising that Rasheed filled her up with wrong information by hiring that person who showed up that day. When Rasheed came back from his work and got to know about Tariq's visit, he badly beats her up with his leather belt tearing her body parts and spreading blood everywhere. When he was about to kill her, Mariam killed him with a shovel. She asked Laila to run away with Tariq and kids. They left.
Mariam spent her rest of the days in the prison along with other women whom Taliban had captured and when found guilty, she was hanged up in front of the people of Kabul for killing his 'Shohar'. Laila went to Herat in order to find anything about Mariam and his family and returned with a videotape, a sack of money and a letter written by Jalil for Mariam which clearly states the misery he caused to Mariam and her mother and how remorseful he was.
After Taliban vanquished, Laila and Tariq along with Aziza and Zalmai returned to Kabul. They used the money for the restoration of the orphanage where Aziza stayed in and Laila worked there as a teacher.
Meanwhile, they debated for the name of their third child but deep down Laila knew what's that gonna be!
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