One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs,
Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.
Khaled Hosseini can multi-task. He is one of those rare authors who can educate and enlighten while telling a heart-wrenching, fully engrossing story—all crafted with a perfect manipulation of poetic prose. Authors that come to mind who have such a gift are Robert Penn Warren in All the King's Men, Richard Llewellyn in How Green Was My Valley, and Abraham Verghese in My Own Country and The Tennis Partner .
A Thousand Splendid Suns takes place mainly in Kabul, Afghanistan and follows the lives of two women: Mariam, the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy man, and Laila, the beloved daughter of a family torn to shreds by the jihad. Beneath the burqa, these women struggle fiercely to survive, emotionally and physically. Integral to the story is Afghanistan and its people, whipped mercilessly by various power-hungry factions.
I read The Kite Runner not long ago and was absolutely blown away. A Thousand Splendid Suns does not disappoint as some second novels do. My only disappointment is that there are no more Hosseini novels to read--yet.