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Thousand Splendid Suns Audio Book

You would think that it’s normal for an author to be able to suck you into a story, and cause you to be totally immersed into so much that you really can’t stop reading…or in this case listening.  However, the fact is that it’s actually a rare trait, and therefore why the ratio of authors compared to best-selling authors is so vast.  

Khaled Hosseini is definitely apart of that rare breed of great story tellers, and has a keen ability to create a trance within the reader, and hold them there through to the end of the story.  He proved this with his big breakthrough hit debut novel “The Kite Runner” and now he’s gone and done it again with “A Thousand Splendid Suns”.   

Perhaps it’s that he is able to add a huge dose of reality within his novels…yet a reality that many of his readers are usually not privy to.  His newest novel – already another smash hit among readers – is A Thousand Splendid Suns…which gives us a rare look into the world of marriage, and the harsh lives that women are sometimes forced into within his home country of Afghanistan.  

Hosseini’s vivid portrayal is of patriarchal despotism – where women can be heartbreakingly dependent on husbands, fathers, and curiously, even more so on sons.  Their one and only chance for any sort of social status is by the bearing of a male child. 

A Thousand Splendid Suns” starts us out early in the decade of the 1970’s, where Mariam – a fifteen year old girl is forced into marriage with the hideous Rasheed, following her mother’s suicide.  Rasheed, a shoemaker is an older man, and through Hosseini’s brilliant depiction is easily hated and appalled by the reader through his grotesque treatment of young Mariam.  

We have plenty of reasons to despise Rasheed as he forces his young bride to where a burka even though it’s not a requirement by law anymore in the country.  She’s basically kept captive within the bounds of Rasheed’s rundown property where she eventually loses her loving child spirit along with her will to fight for herself.  Over the years she also begins to lose her teeth, her innocence, along with all the other attributes of beauty and attractiveness.  

After a time, a new character Laila – who was born just previous to the invasion of Russia – comes into the mix.  Laila has a much more liberating outlook in her future which includes an education and a way to travel out of the stuffy lifestyle of women in Afghanistan.  After a bomb kills the majority of her family, she ends up at the house of Rasheed and Mariam to recover from her own wounds, therefore shattering any dreams and hopes of freedom.  At just 14, she then becomes Rasheed’s new victim of forced matrimony.  

Though the marriage is predictably as disgusting and vile as Rasheed’s marriage with Mariam, the two women form a bond and friendship that helps each other grow and transform through the years.  Hosseini shares remarkably the count of the strength of these women, as they love and help one another through their torturous ordeal, while all along loving and fighting tooth and nail for their children – and all of this is completely inspiring.   

This story not only shares with us the careful details of these characters lives throughout this epic journey, but also carries us through three decades of Afghanistan’s turbulent past, including the anti Soviet Jihad, their own civil war, as well as the tumultuous oppression of Taliban rule.  

This audio book is a great lesson in not only more recent events in history, but also a true to life understanding of humanity, and how behind the headlines and whoopla of the news channels there are real lives at stake, where real emotions prevail, and real turmoil exists.   

In “A Thousand Splendid Suns” shows us this by guiding us on an emotional ride through the story of two strong women that will inspire you tremendously.