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A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
A Thousand Splendid Suns tells the story two women against the background of the last forty years in Afghanistan. Mariam was born an illegitimate child in 1959 and was married off to a man from Kabul when she was 15. Her husband was abusive and cruel and he forced her to wear a burqa even though many liberal women in Kabul were free to go without it. Laila was born just before the Russian invasion and had dreams of a life of education and travel. A bomb kills most of her family and she recovers from her wounds in Mariam's house. While the woman bond, Mariam's husband has his eyes on Laila. With the emergence of the Taliban, the women have few options, if any. The second novel from Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner) has received mostly positive reviews with the Rocky Mountain News saying, "A Thousand Splendid Suns is an important, provocative work. The rich and violent history of Afghanistan provides a backdrop that informs and saturates the story. Hosseini's characters, Mariam and Laila, are unforgettable; their compassion for each other and love for their children is devastating. Hosseini has succeeded in writing another epic tale, a novel not to be missed."