Monday, August 1, 2011

Mrs Readalots Book Club: A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Book Thief

Hi Mrs Readalots Book Club followers! Welcome to Kiwi At Heart. Thanks for coming over to visit!


I hope you don't mind that I chose two books for this months Book club. I get so excited about sharing great reads and it was so hard to chose just one.

I'm going to review just one on this post and the other on another post.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

This is my all time favourite book. I had previously read Khaled Hosseini's first novel, The Kite Runner, which I enjoyed, but for me it didn't compare to a novel about the friendships of women.

Set in Afghanistan it follows the life a young girl, Mariam through her difficult childhood as an illegitimate child and then into her adulthood and arranged marriage. It starts off powerfully with the emotional abuse she suffers from her mother and the rejection from her biological father. 

This all takes place in a country ravaged by war, communism and Taliban Law.  Just this history alone was an eye opener for me, to read about life in a country where rockets fall regularly and death is all around and loss and heartache is such an everyday occurence.

During Mariam's story, a young girl, Laila, is introduced and her story is woven into Mariam's.  It tells of Laila's close relationship with her family and her best friend and then the devastating events that lead to her life being inextricably entwined into Mariam's. And out of it an unexpected friendship is born.
As a woman it is a powerful story of love and friendship, of heartache and sacrifice.  I felt for both the main characters and wanted so much for them to be victorious, I found it so hard to read of their failed escape and their fate at the hands of their bitter, horrible, violent husband.

Another part of this story that touched me was when Laila must leave her daughter at an orphange so she can be fed. Unimaginable as a mother, but I could kind of understand. Lets hope Id never have to face something like that.

It is heart breaking and unimaginable to read of the life of women in Afghanistan during 30 years of a violent history where women are treated as a man's 'property' and live in fear and hardship.

I have cried so many tears reading this book. I really commend Khaled Hosseini for writing such a powerful novel about the reality of life as a woman in Afghanistan but also exploring women's friendships and love through this.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is on the top of my list of book recommendations! I hope you have the chance to read it too.

I'll be back to review The Book Thief on another day, another of my favourites.

The beautiful Renette from South African Kiwis is hosting next months Book Club and her novel of choice is Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M Auel.

Link up your reviews to the linky below

Mrs Readalots Book Linky - August


Renee said...

Thanks so much for choosing such an amazing book - I enjoyed every last page and it has sparked an interest in the plight of Afghani women like never before.

I totally agree with you about how heartbreaking leaving your child at an orphanage just to be fed would be. I cannot even imagine the inner strength these women have.


Simoney said...

Loved loved loved BOTH these books (I'm Mrs Readalot, what can I say? I HAD to read BOTH)
Also loved your review and description of the book; I think you have summed it up beautifully.
What a great book club month this has been; such great recommendations by you leonie - thankyou for hosting and introducing us to TWO such wonderful reads!

Helen said...

I absolutely LOVED this book Leonie, and it isn't something I would have picked up by myself so I owe you even more thanks for introducing it to me. This has been my favourite read of the year so far. An absolutely breathtaking novel. :)

Simoney said...

Hear hear, girls! Big ups to leonie for choosing such fab books for us.
Now you NEED to go and find The Book Thief. Really, you do.
Another BEAUTIFUL read.

Leonie said...

Im so glad you girls like the book!! And Simone is right, you need to get The Book Thief, its another great read.

Leonie said...

Looking forward to getting round to reading these sometime soon Leonie! Great name by the way :)

Jen said...

thanks for visiting my blog

sounds like an interesting book adding it to my list

Amy said...

I haven't had a chance to read either of the books you choose for this month. But there are heading my way now so hopefully I will read them in the next fortnight. I am looking forward to reading them since you have written such fab things about them.

Megan said...

great to have some book recommendations thanks Leonie- I get a lot of book ideas from reading blogs which makes it a lot easier when I go to the library with kids in tow. will look for this one next time i'm there.

rohit said...

Must be an enjoyable read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and orignal, this book is going in by "to read" list.