...One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, or the thousand splendid suns ....
...that hide behind her walls.
This is described as the ode to Kabal, by Lailas father, and as the young woman finds her self at a crossword remembers his voice and these words. The poem also serves as the title to this extraordinary story;
'A thousand splendid suns' by Khaled Hosseini
Here we have a story of survival, perseverance and being able to keep moving forward with hope. Mariam and Laila are two women born under different circumstances and from different backgrounds following a series of events are thrust into each others paths. With the individual and collective struggles of both women the story helps us explore the power of compassion, forgiveness and faith. Ultimately this leads to one woman's sacrifice granting the others salvation.
The lives of Mariam and Laila are just one aspect of the tale and Khaled, does a brilliant job telling their story against the back drop of Afghanistan. Like to two women we see the country from pre- war times, during the invasion of the soviet and finally the rise of the Taliban. The political backlash accompanied by decline of society throughout Afghanistan, gives us glimpses of the horrors of war which include laws being enforced in the name of religion, gender inequalities and highlights the real victims who are the civilians.
Overall I loved reading this story, it was difficult at times as I found myself hating certain characters, and situations but this helped build both women and made each of their journeys more profound.