A splendid sun

I read The Kite Runner about a year ago after seeing the film. Previously I'd had several false starts on it. I enjoyed Kite runner but was never as blown away by it as I'd expected to be. I was never wholeheartedly convinced by the characters, although I could appreciate the hero's motivation in rescuing his old friend's son, I remained unconvinced that he would have done it, and this, not unnaturally, impacted on my reading of the novel.

However I can say unequivocally that I absolutely loved A Thousand Splendid Suns, the book swept me away from the first page. It was moving, funny, a cracking good read, with wonderful convincing characters that you rooted for all the way through. It is a truly fabulous book. Even more amazing that a male writer could have got inside the hearts and minds of his 2 Afghan heroines, and portrayed their story so movingly and authentically.

In contrast to The kite runner where much of the story takes place outside Afghanistan, and is told to a certain extent from the viewpoint of Afghan refugees, most of A thousand splendid suns takes place within the borders of Afghanistan through all the changes that this turbulent country has had to face over the last 30 years. The book is a testimony to the resilience of the Afghan people, not least the women of that country. How ironic then that on the day I finished this wonderful novel there was yet another report of a bomb blast in Kandahar...


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