Synopsis In the case of “Splendid Suns,” Mr. Hosseini quickly makes it clear that he intends to deal with the plight of women in Afghanistan, and in the opening pages the mother of one of the novel’s two heroines talks portentously about “our lot in life,” the lot of poor, uneducated “women like us” who have to endure the hardships of life, the slights of men, the disdain of society. This heavy-handed opening quickly gives way to even more soap-opera-ish events: after her mother commits suicide, the teenage Mariam — the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy man, who is ashamed of her existence — is quickly married off to a much older shoemaker named Rasheed, a piggy brute of a man who says it embarrasses him “to see a man who’s lost control of his wife.” Rasheed forces Mariam to wear a burqa and treats her with ill-disguised contempt, subjecting her to scorn, ridicule, insults, even “walking past her like she was nothing but a house cat.” Mariam lives in fear of “his shifting moods, his volatile temperament, his insistence on steering even mundane exchanges down a confrontational path that, on occasion, he would resolve with punches, slaps, kicks, and sometimes try to make amends for with polluted apologies and sometimes not.” The life of the novel’s other heroine, Laila, who becomes Rasheed’s second wife, takes an even sharper trajectory toward ruin. Though she is the cherished daughter of an intellectual, who encourages her to pursue an education, Laila finds her life literally shattered when a rocket — lobbed by one of the warlord factions fighting for control of Kabul, after the Soviet Union’s departure — lands on her house and kills her parents. Her beloved boyfriend, Tariq, has already left Kabul with his family — they have become refugees in Pakistan — and she suddenly finds that she is an orphan with no resources or friends. When she discovers that she is pregnant with Tariq’s child and learns that Tariq has supposedly died from injuries sustained in a rocket attack near the Pakistan border, she agrees to marry Rasheed, convinced that she and her baby will never survive alone on the streets of Kabul .
Hyperlinks related to the book <ul><li>Book Review #1 </li></ul><ul><li>Book Review #2 </li></ul>
Reasons why I liked the book <ul><li>I was born in Afghanistan and this book discussed facts about Afghanistan that I wanted to learn about. It was a very emotional book that made me realize how lucky I was to get out of the country. It made me realize how much I have taken for granted. </li></ul>
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