Last Christmas, my younger sister Bautina (Jocelyn) granted my wish to give me a book entitled “A Thousand Splendid Suns” written by Khaled Hosseini as her Christmas gift. But it actually took me four long months to decide whether to read it or not.
It took me that long to decide if I wanted to read the book or not because I do not want to subject myself to the same roller-coaster emotions I felt when I read Khaled Hosseini’s first novel (The Kite Runner).
True enough, the story twists and turns its way through the turmoil and mayhem that ensued Afghanistan for the past decades. The story mainly focuses on the forlorn lives of two women thrown together by fate (Mariam and Laila). Their lives became irrevocably entangled together despite a 19-year age difference being both the wives of a brute shoemaker. It is a powerful story about bonds of friendship, the power of human love, the beauty of blood relations, the appalling cultural inequality and the struggle to survive.
The anesthesia-less Caesarian childbirth part, the food deprivation section of the story plus the graphic brutal physical and emotional abuses experienced by both characters will fill your hearth with horror. Even now that I have finished reading the book, I still felt the sorrow, frustration and helplessness of the women depicted in the manuscript. It made me feel like I had gone on a journey with these two suffering women and had been beaten down and raised-up emotionally alongside them.
The words and images are rooting through my body, it made me furiously angry that such hopeless plight can exist in such a repressive regime. This book is not for the wimps! It’s not for the faint of heart! It’s very shocking. It’s very disturbing. It’s very powerful.
Ang galing! Nakaka-takot! Nakaka-lungkot! Nakaka-iyak! Nakaka-inis! Basta nakaka!