This is the second novel by Mr. Khaled Hosseini I have read after “The Kite Runner” and for the second time he literally baffled me with his extremely awesome writing capability as well as portraying deft. This is the novel where one can enrich his knowledge about how the political scenario of Afghanistan has changed from time to time and what scars the situations have left on the Afghan people. This novel also makes us aware about the conservative and patriarchal Afghan society where women had very little freedom of words as well as action.
There are four frequently discussed characters in the novel – Mariam, her husband Rasheed, their neighbor Tariq and Laila. The novel portrays the socio-economic instability of Afghanistan through growing struggle of Mariam and Laila. Mariam was an illegal child and so her father left her, but he had feelings for her. Mariam grew up under the care of her mother. After her mother’s death, she had to get married with Rasheed, owner of a shoe-shop. In Rasheed’s house she had to face severe mental as well as physical torture which she bore quietly. Laila was a young girl residing in their neighborhood. Laila loved Tariq from their childhood. However Laila lost their parents and Tariq also moved far away from her due to the ongoing political situation. Later, Rasheed married Laila as he and Mariam could not produce any child. But, Rasheed’s growing torture on them became intolerable and Mariam killed Rasheed afterwards. After that Mariam surrendered her guilt and sentenced to death, Laila married Tariq and they lived happily after.
In the entire novel Mr. Hosseini left us many messages from which we can learn different aspects of life. The life of Mariam or Laila simply tells us that life is all about a fight. If someone gives up the fight, he or she will perish. Mariam and Laila in their life fought tremendously to cope up with the situation. They ever did not give up hope of what they wanted. Another thing Mr. Hosseini pointed out that there is nothing which can replace our motherland. Mariam always remembered the place where she grew up. Laila and Tariq returned back to Afghanistan though they were leading a smooth life in Pakistan. Surely, the comfort and pleasure which can be cherished in residing within the place where someone is borne and brought up can’t be felt anywhere else. This eternal truth is the main understanding of the novel which the writer has drawn very efficiently throughout the entire “Thousand Splendid Suns”.