Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Read this book!

OK, OK, I know I'm several years late with this post.  I had heard about the buzz for A Thousand Splendid Suns but I have to be honest.  I thought, "Who wants to read a book about Afghanistan?"  But after not being able to find anything that really grabbed me at the local library, I decided to give it a go.

Now I'm wondering just what took me so long.  This book sucked me right in and made me want to do nothing but sit and read!  If you haven't read the book, it follows the story of two Afghan women---Mariam and Laila--over a 40 year period as their lives intertwined.  And even though it was a work of fiction, it served as somewhat of a history lesson for me.  It covered the regime changes Afghanistan had made throughout that 40 year period.

The best books are those that make you think and reflect.  This one certainly did.  I think we as Americans and in the west in general tend to take our freedoms and privileges for granted.  As a woman, I'm free to make my own choices, go where I choose, wear what I choose, attend the school I choose.  These two women did not have that freedom and were at the mercy of their husband.  They were more property than partner in their marriages.  As an American, it also makes me thankful for all the freedoms we enjoy in our society. 
The book also left me with the impression that since 9/11, things are improving for the people of Afghanistan.  I hope this is so.  Sometimes when I think about Afghanistan, I only picture those who wish to harm us.  I forget about all the regular people who just want a normal life, a safe environment for their children, enough food on the table.  I sincerely hope life has improved for all of those people. 

I know my review/endorsement has probably not done the book justice.  Suffice it say, however, that in all my years of reading (and they are really adding up!) only three books have caused me to shed tears.  This was one of them. 

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