A perspective into the lives of Afghan women

IMG_3793A coworker loaned this book to me as she recommended that I read it. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini is a novel told through alternating POVs of two women in Afghanistan which spans over five decades. Overall, it is a story of the relationships between mothers and daughters, especially their sacrifices and their fragility.

This book mostly made me mad. Honestly, chapter after chapter as the action rose I became angrier and angrier with the men and the setting of the novel as I knew that no matter what the women tried to do to improve their situation they would ultimately be faced with misfortune. However, the end of the novel provides a glimmer of hope for the characters, albeit that there was a cost to gaining that hope. I think what bothered me about the subject matter of this novel was that while the novel is fiction, it is based on a reality of how people truly live. I was more appreciative of the fact that I live in Canada where being a woman does not feel like a burden to my society.

To end, here is my favourite quote from the novel:

“She remembered Nana saying once that each snowflake was a sigh heaved by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the world. That all sighs drifted up to the sky, gathered into clouds, then broke into tiny pieces that fell silently on the people below.

As a reminder of how women like us suffer, she’d said. How quietly we endure all that falls upon us.” (pg. 91)

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