Monday, April 27, 2009

May's book

For the month of May, we're going to be reading:
The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Has anyone else finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns?

I finished it yesterday afternoon, and thoughts have been swirling around in my head since then... but I can't seem to form them into something coherent. The book was heart-wrenching and heart-warming, all at the same time. Kudos to the author for writing such a spell-binding story.

I sat on my porch yesterday after I finished reading it... and thought about the book... and life. It was one of those soul-searching moments, a time for real reflection. I was thinking about how lucky I was that I could sit on my porch, safe and sound, watching spring valiantly try to take over upstate New York.

You know, we hear all the time the phrase "glad to be an American." But those were my thoughts as I read the book. I am grateful to be an American... as corny as it may sound. My 4 months spent in China really opened my eyes to how others in the world live... and how good I really have it. This book elicited the same strong emotions.

I've never feared for my life. I've never been beaten. I haven't lost all my family members; everyone dear to me. I've never lost my home, my children (not that I have any...) or anything like that. I've never been that hungry. I joke with Cory all the time that I'm so hungry that I might starve to death before he comes to get me for lunch... but we both know it's not even close to being true.

I know A Thousand Splendid Suns is a work of fiction... that Mariam and Laila are fictional characters. But all the things that happen in the book have most certainly happened to someone. Someone real. Daughters are married off, wives are beaten, womens' rights are nonexistent, war is tearing that region apart (and has been raging for years). I don't pretend to understand what factions are fighting with each other - I didn't even follow it that well in the book - but the emotion rings loud and clear.

Of course, I cried through the end of the book. Cried for Mariam, cried for Tariq, cried for Laila, cried when she read Jahil's letter. And yet, I felt at peace with the ending. I liked seeing Laila & Tariq return to Kabul and renovate the orphanage, doing their part to rebuild their war-torn nation.

I really liked the book... sad as it was. I look forward to discussing it more with you guys. Anyone have any thoughts?