Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Have I mentioned that I am a voracious reader? I average three to four books a month. Most of them novels. This month I read two of my favorite novels to date: Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver; and A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini.

Although I've tried to read Kingsolver novels before, I've never really been able to get into them. Prodigal Summer, however, proved to be the one that hooked me in. Now that I have a better understanding of her writing, I think I will try to read some of her other works.

Prodigal Summer follows the lives of disconnected people living in Zebulon Valley in Virginia--a fictional place as far as I can tell--and entangles them each with one another in very interesting ways.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is the story of three generations of Afghani women from the 1950s through the turn of the century. It is a story filled with grief and heartache with tiny rays of sunshine and joy. I finished this book this morning, tears streaming down my face. If you've ever wondered what it's really like for not only women in Afghanistan, but people in general, this book will give you a perspective that is wholly heart-wrenching and utterly real. The only part I will give away is this:

The Taliban has taken over and women are no longer allowed to work or go outside by themselves. There are separate hospitals for women and men in Kabul--the men have several hospitals, the women only have one. One of the heroines is ready to have a baby and is sent to the women's hospital where there is no clean water or supplies. The character in the story then undergoes a cesarean section without anesthetic.

3 comments:

Kriss said...

I am a memoir junkie myself and have recently been reading a lot of books written about and by women in the Middle East as well as Africa. Here are some of my most recent reads:
-"Sold" by Patricia Mccormick
-"Infidel" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
-"Born in the Big Rains: A Memoir of Somalia And Survival" by Fadumo Korn
-"The White Masai" by Corinne Hofmann

Kriss said...

You should try a couple of the following....I tend to be quite the memory junkie. Especially when it comes to the life of women in the middle east as well as Africa:
"The White Masai" by Corinne Hofmann
"Born in the Big Rains: A Memoir of Somalia And Survival"
by Fadumo Korn
"Sold" by Patricia Mccormick
"Infidel" by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Talk to you soon :)

Kriss

Tina said...

Barbara Kingsolver is my absolute favorite. She has a bit of a quirky style but I love it. Try They Bean Trees and The Poisonwood Bible.