I love to read. I adore literature. It was the only thing I ever really excelled at in school and I passed with an A* can you believe? Weirdly I decided to go on and study Science at University and so trained as a Science Teacher, but secretly there is an English teacher desperate to get out! It is a classic case of, ‘Do you teach your Love or do you teach your Passion?’ I teach my passion in the fear that I never wanted to lose my love.
I used to devour books one by one. I would choose reading over TV any moment of the day. Now reading takes an effort. Three children are exhausting as you all well know, and so maintaining concentration by the end of the day can be hard. Sometimes I can read the same page three times because every time I have got to the bottom of the page I have forgotten what I have read and have to start again! So I have taken to reading in the bath and I have made a rule to read one chapter every night to get some consistency back. This rule appears to be working and I am back into my swing of reading.
I am currently reading One Fine Day (I have not see the film, and rarely do before I have read the book) but that is not what I am going to tell you about as I have not finished yet. The book I am going to talk about is A Thousand Splendid Suns. A superbly written book by Khaled Housseini. It portrays the stories of two women initially leading very different lives in Afghanistan and then shows how these two women lives come together due to unexpected circumstances, and how they have to pull together, break the rules and develop a Mother and daughter style relationship in order to stay alive.
The book is truthful, emotive, hard-hitting in places but so real to the internal dialogue of a woman. I cannot begin to understand how a man managed to write it so succinctly and empathetically, because the thought processes are so apt of a female and nothing like how a man would react – I know we like to think we can be the same, but we do function in very different ways. He must have done his research.
I never understood the politics and history surrounding Afghanistan and to be honest would not pretend that I really do now. However it did open a window to my ignorance and lack of knowledge. It was interesting to see that from the way the book was written, the people of Kabul did not really understand the politics either. It seemed to me they would support whomever it was that would stop the suffering and war. I found it eye-opening that the people cheered the Taliban coming into power as they thought it would bring new change. Indeed it did, but not in a good way. Women were basically treated like second class citizens and any form of joy was forbidden including dancing and singing. Women were not allowed to be educated, they were not really allowed to be seen (unless accompanied by a man who had to be family) or heard and had to go to all female hospitals which never got any supplies. Can you imagine having a C-section without any form of epidural or pain relief? The thought is incomprehensible.
Despite the serious nature of the book, the story flowed with joy and ease. It was amazing to witness (through a novel writers eyes) a flowering relationship, courage, strength, and the lengths a Mother will go to ensure safety of her children. It was inspiring. It made me smile, it made me weep, it made me angry, it made my heart bleed – I have not read a book that has done that in such a long time and it was a pure joy. I know it has been out a while and I had expectations that it would be good as I has previously read The Kite Runner, another excellent book by the same author.
It is definitely on my top ten to read list!
I am handing this book over to Kara from Chelsea Mamma who I know will enjoy this!
Just to add – I am over the moon that my blog has made it through to the final shortlists of two National Awards so I need to ask you to vote for me please!
I am delighted to be shortlisted in:
Best MAD Family Fun Blog
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Blogger of the year by Loved by parents
I am found in the Special awards Category as Kerry Farrow
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