Athnousand Splendid

A Thousand Splendid Suns | English Novel | Download Free PDF

A Thousand Splendid Suns

  • A 2007 novel
  • Afghan born= Khaled Hosseini
  • The story of Mariam and Laila- both married to the same man RASHEED
  • Mariam is the illegitimate child of a wealthy manJALIL and Nana (Jalil’s one time housekeeper)
  • For the first 15 years= Mariam loves a secluded life with NANA in a shack (KOLBA)- situated in a clearing away from the main town
  • As a penance for his adultery, JALIL comes weekly to visit Mariam Jalil brings small gifts and news of the world Mariam- inherits two conflicting views from her parents- from her mother she comes to know that a HARAMI like her must endure a lifetime of pain and JALIL’s view is that THERE IS A WHOLE WORLD TO DISCOVER BEYOND THE KOLBA
  • On her 15th birthday, Mariam goes for the first time to the Herat House She is barred entry by Jalil’s legitimate children and wives and She is forcibly taken home She sees that Nana has hanged herself
  • After this tragedy (of Nana’s death)- Mariam for a while stays at Jalil’s guestroom However, Jalil’s wives are keen to get rid of her and therefore arrange for her to be married to RASHEED RASHEED= a man from Kabul, who is 30 years her senior Mariam= still in deep grief shifts to Kabul with Rasheed
  • Although Kabul is a modernizing city, where women have greater liberties of expression, RASHEED proclaims that he is traditional
  • Rasheed asks Mariam to wear a burqa Mariam slowly grows accustomed to Rasheed and begins to enjoy her status as a LEGITIMATE wife rather than an illegitimate child
  • Mariam’s seven pregnancies end in miscarriage Relations aren’t good between Mariam and Rasheed post these episodes Rasheed= desperately wants a son to compensate for the one who drowned in a previous marriage Rasheed becomes violent and contemptuous towards Mariam
  • In 1978 on the eve of the SOVIET takeover of Afghanistan- LAILA is born Laila= born to Fariba and HakimRasheed and Mariam’s neighbors Laila- a rare beauty grows up intellectually Laila is encouraged by her ex-schoolteacher father but is ignored by her mother
  • Laila’s mother only thinks of her sons who are fighting in the Mujahideen’s army, against the Communists Laila never truly knew her older brothers Laila grew up close to TARIQ, a carpenter’s son whose leg was blown off by a land mine
  • The Soviets leave in 1989- guerrilla fighting follows and the streets are dangerous Laila therefore has to be taken out of school As she enters her teens- Laila’s relationship with Tariq deepens and becomes more flirtatious
  • Tariq tells her that he must leave Kabul with his ailing parents and he and Laila become physically intimate just before his departure A few weeks later, Laila’s own family is packing to move away from KABUL However, before they can get away, a bomb explodes, killing Laila’s parents
  • Laila is saved by Rasheed Mariam nurses her back to health A messenger visits her telling Laila the terrible news that Tariq is dead Rasheed asks Laila to become his second wife Laila agrees only because she realizes that she is pregnant with Rasheed’s child and needs a stable home to ensure the child’s safety
  • Laila marries Rasheed and attempts to pass off the child as his own In the beginning- Mariam is very hostile towards Laila Mariam considers Laila to be a husband stealer AZIZA is born – a girl United by their love for Aziza and their distaste forRASHEED- Laila and Mariam form a powerful bound
  • When they attempt to run away, they are discovered and returned home, where Rasheed punishes them brutally.
  • Taliban- rigid and misogynist laws- comes to power Laila finds that she is pregnant again with Rasheed’s child She gives birth to a SON- ZALMAI Rasheed’s shoe shop burns down and he cannot hold another job The family’s grave financial difficulties mean that AZIZA has to be sent to an orphanage while Zalmai continues to be spoiled
  • Tariq- was not dead + instead he was living in Pakistan One day Tariq turns up at their doorstep
  • When Zalmai tells his father of their visitor, Rasheed has Laila in a death grip Mariam murders him with a shovel in order to save Laila’s life Knowing that the 2 wives of a murdered husband would not have a chance of victory in Taliban’s court- Mariam gives herself up and is sentenced to death, while she encourages Laila to elope with Tariq and the children Laila and Tariq live in Pakistan for a while, but after a year return to a more peaceful Kabul, to help rebuild the city




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