Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (10/81)

Category: Around the World – Afghanistan

I assume that everyone other than me has already read this book, so I won't outline the plot and will just give my impressions.

I put off reading it for a few weeks after a colleague loaned me her copy, because I was never quite in the mood for what I assumed would be a depressing read. So I started it with some reluctance. However, after about 50 pages I found myself being pulled into the story and I finished it in one evening.

Of course, the story it tells of women’s treatment in Afghanistan is not a happy one, but the prejudices and abuse faced by the two main characters never seemed melodramatic for the sake of it. The recent history of the country made an interesting backdrop to the personal struggles of the central characters.

Despite the unpleasant circumstances described, I found this a surprisingly easy-read that was well-paced, encouraging me to read on. I don’t think it is an amazing piece of literature and it won’t make my favourites list but I can see why it has been so popular and I’m glad I finally read it.

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