Saturday, October 27, 2007

"each snowflake was a sigh heaved by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the world.

That all the sighs drifted up the sky, gathered into clouds, then broke into tiny pieces that fell silently on the people below."
Sometimes a book just sucks you in, so much so that when you pick it up at 9:30 p.m on a Friday night to start reading it because you are so very behind on the huge pile of bigs you have to read and this particular one is due on Tuesday and you doubt that you will be able to renew it because there are so many holds on it and you find that you just keep reading it and reading it without stopping because you can't find a decent place to take a break and suddenly (or perhaps not so suddenly...) it's 5:30 in the morning and you have finished the book. Such was A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini's latest novel, which i think i enjoyed even more than The Kite Runner (and i loved The Kite Runner).
This is more than "a female version of The Kite Runner" (not to in any way belittle whatever that would be). This is a tale of many women's lives (mainly that of Mariam's and Laila's, two women of different generations raised in very diffferent worlds who must learn to make a family of each other) from the soviet invasion through the Taliban and the jihads that followed up until 2003.
This is a beutiful, brutal tale. Tears would flow, then they would dry, then they would flow again. This is the type of novel that makes you feel as if you are being let in on someone else's life. It begins with the enchantment of youth and, just as in youth, too quickly disillusions, in ways both expected and unexpected. It is told with Hosseini extreme pogiency and sensitivity. He has the voice of a poet, and i at no time sensed this was a man telling a woman's story (which was a good thing) nor did he ever sink into sentimentality, which his matter could have easily let him do. Wonderfully descriptive and full of awe.
"One could not count the moons that shimmer on the roofs,
Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind the walls."

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