Pages: 76 / 327 (eBook version); 23%
The Reason for the Reaping: Recommended by a friend, Steph! Some misgivings here, as The Kite Runner was not my favorite (sorry, everyone). Hosseini is one of the most influential writers of our generation, so I’m ready to give him another chance.
As I Lay Summarizing: Young Mariam is on the verge of womanhood in 1970s Afghanistan. A bastard child of her poor mother and a rich man named Jalil, Mariam bridges two worlds as she lives with her mother and has intermittent meetings with her father. Obviously, the drama unfolds from there.
The Line That Killed Me: “‘Let me tell you something. A man’s heart is a wretched, wretched thing, Mariam. It isn’t like a mother’s womb. It won’t bleed, it won’t stretch to make room for you. I’m the only one who loves you’” (28). Death by gritty, golden simile.
Best Character: Fariba
Why [As] You Like It: As with The Kite Runner, Hosseini takes us into an Afghanistan few have experienced. The story feels familiar with its slew of archetypal characters. Yet, it also feels novel against the backdrop of this beautifully alive country. It snows in Kabul, Afghanistan. Did you know that? Seeing and learning about this culture makes the novel the beginnings of a wonderful journey.
Why I’m Gone, Girl: At times, Hosseini sacrifices realistic storytelling in order to get you to bawl your eyes out. Characterization can be a little over the top, especially with Mariam. These knockoff soap opera moments makes A Thousand Splendid Suns a little clunky. Sorry, Khaled, I didn’t cry. You can’t fool me!
Last Line, Last Chance: “…said. How quietly we endure all that falls upon us.”
Will I turn the page, or toss it into Mount Doom?
My misgivings from The Kite Runner still stand, but the immersion into the culture of Afghanistan is keeping me interested. I will keep going!