I’ve just finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini after going through abrupt breakouts and many tearful sessions. So far, I’ve never read an author who could compel me so much emotionally and mentally. I got depressed for two days after I finished reading The Kite Runner. For two frickin days, I couldn’t get that book out of my mind. It hurt me beyond immeasurable grief. I felt entangled between the pages of the story, alive within the book to see every detail of what’s happening to each and every character. The characters won my heart so much that to this day, I still feel like I just read a true story. The Kite Runner is so real and it left me the same impression after I read its equivalent, A Thousand Splendid Suns. Both books have two characters having their own conflicts, infused by betrayal, regret and the will to redeem themselves but I felt like I could relate more to the second one since it portrayed female characters. Both books have their main tragic characters, similarly dying their shocking undeserving deaths.
I personally find it interesting how Hosseini combines two opposite characters portrayed as heroes, who are bound by the same destiny and by the same past, marked with grief and turmoil. The first hero would be morally righteous and faithful while the other might seem weak but they had the chance or the effort to resist and move on towards the end of the plot. In the Kite Runner, the tragic hero is Hassan. In A Thousand Splendid Suns, it is Mariam. These two powerful heroes fought against the hardships that invaded their lives, more specifically from their birth. Their unending devotion for their friends is pitiably moving and vivid. They were martyrs in their own way, sacrificing for those they care in the name of friendship and an unending love that neither the changing forces of politics or destiny could take away. These two are the classic representations of heroic figures, morally righteous and perfect in the inside. On the other hand, the other two heroes- Amir from The Kite Runner and Laila from A Thousand Splendid Suns, are the oxymoron of what the other two characters are. They’re weak, a bit haughty, stubborn and inclined to make mistakes and wrong judgements. In other words, they’re a stolid depiction of the true human nature, which is wrought with imperfection and insecurity. When I read their characters, I feel like I’m looking at my own self- full of lies, regrets and mistakes. But they made it through the end, realizing their own wrongdoings and making up for themselves.
It might seem as if I’m making unnecessary assumptions and clumping up evidences whatever way I want but the character depictions Hosseni portrays in both his books are a lot similar than what one might think, that’s how it looks to me so far. Maybe I was wrong in some parts, especially in Mariam being perfect because she wasn’t. She despises her father for his neglect throughout her childhood although she loves him deep inside. It’s painfully sad how she never got the chance to forgive him in the end. Mariam has as much similarities as to Laila than Hassan has with Amir. Whatever the case is, I wish to read more stories from this incredible writer. I admire his skills in intertwining themes of love and friendship amidst political and social turmoils. It makes them truly interesting and thrilling stories that grip your attention till the very end of the plot. They will leave you wondering, shocked, impressed or even devastated. Needless to say, these are powers of a wonderfully gifted writer, touching the depths and souls of his readers.