I just finished A Thousand Splendid Suns and LOVED IT. This is summer reading at its best…I took it everywhere with me until I finished. Starbucks, fishing, blow drying my hair, the bathtub. You name it, my book and I were there together.
I particularly liked this book because Women in Afghanistan are rarely given a face, or more importantly a voice, because they are always portrayed in the burqua. Reading this book, as well as the book Reading Lolita in Tehran, both helped me to see that the women in Afghanistan and Iran are just like women in America or China or Africa. We all have the same hopes and dreams and fears. We all want a chance to love someone, raise children, follow our passions, be treated as equals.
One of my favorite parts of this book is when one of the female characters, Laila, is taken to a lush valley by her father. They spend the day together– a day unlike most others through out the book because it is free from fighting and terror. In the Bamiyan Valley there is peace, tranquility and nature.
“It’s so quiet, Laila breathed. She could see tiny sheep and horses but couldn’t hear their bleating and whinnying. “It’s what I always remember about being up here,” Babi said. “The silence. The peace of it. I wanted you to experience it. But I also wanted you to see your country’s heritage, children, to learn of its rich past. You see, some things I can teach you. Some things you learn from books. But there are things that, well, you just have to see and feel.”
Isn’t that true of so much in life?