A Thousand Splendid Suns
Set in the ever changing country of Afghanistan, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a novel that follows the unfortunate lives of two Afghan women whose fates mysteriously intertwine toward the middle of the detailed story. They live in a time that ranges from the Soviet Invasion to the reign of the Taliban to the post-Taliban rebuilding stage when their stories end. The first section of the book follows the life of Mariam, which begins with her painful childhood. Being an illegitimate child of a well-to-do cinema owner and his maid, her mother, she lives her days in a dirty shack with her scornful mother. Weekly visits from her father keep Mariam happy until one day he doesn’t show up. After going to his house to look for him she learns that her mother has hung herself in fear that Mariam has deserted her like her father did years ago. With nothing left Mariam moves in with her father but is soon married off to a much older man named Rasheed. Her life as a wife begins fairly well but that changes when she has a miscarriage. Her life turns black and blue as Rasheed abuses her both physically and mentally, but as an Afghani woman there is nothing she can do about it. The second section of the book revolves around the daily life of Laila, the second woman in the novel. Although she lives just down the street from Mariam, all that Laila notices about her is her quiet countenance. She is content with her life until her first love, Tariq, moves away shortly after they have their first sexual encounter with one another. Her life seems to turn around when her family agrees to move as well, but as they are leaving a rocket destroys their house and kills both of her parents. Mariam and Rasheed nurse Laila back to health, and during this time Laila is led to believe that Tariq is also dead. In a strange turn of events Laila becomes Rasheed’s second wife in an attempt to hide her pregnancy. This pregnancy being a result of her encounter with Tariq on...
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