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A Thousand Splendid Suns
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Buddy Reads + Reading Challenegs > Buddy Reads: June 2016 - A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

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message 1: by Nitesh (last edited Jun 02, 2016 11:01AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments Forum to read and discuss A thousand Splendid Suns.

About the book

Mariam is an illegitimate child, and suffers from both the stigma surrounding her birth along with the abuse she faces throughout her marriage. Laila, born a generation later, is comparatively privileged during her youth until their lives intersect and she is also forced to accept a marriage proposal from Rasheed, Mariam's husband. The book focuses primarily on female characters and their roles in Afghan society.

We are planning to start reading the book from June 4, 2016. The book has four parts and hence, logically it should be 1 part per week. But let's see how gripping the storyline and the writing style is.

Current Participants:
Nitesh
Sharadha


Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
Brilliant initiative, I completed 10 pages. When do you start/started already?

Others please feel free to join :D


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments gimme time till weekend.. I am reading a few other books that I plan to complete by tomorrow


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments Looks like you are reading two other books along with it. How are you liking The Bourne Identity?


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments I have watched the movie and bought the book long back.. Never read it though..


Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
Yep, reading two varied genres - Me Before You and Bourne Identity. The latter's been great so far actually. Haven't watched the movies yet, if I like the book then I may watch although some of the reviews diss the movie real bad haha We could BR that together another time maybe, I don't mind re-reading it because there's too much I am unable grasp in one go. We can start Hosseini in the weekend then :)


Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
Did you like the movie?


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments Sharadha wrote: "Did you like the movie?"

Yes.. I sort of liked it and watched the whole series twice (which I rarely do ;) )


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments Sharadha wrote: "Brilliant initiative, I completed 10 pages. When do you start/started already?

Others please feel free to join :D"


I will catch up soon. Have bought the book :)


Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
Nitesh wrote: "Sharadha wrote: "Did you like the movie?"

Yes.. I sort of liked it and watched the whole series twice (which I rarely do ;) )"


You sort of liked it and watched the series twice ;) It should be a good book :D

Let's start this weekend, 1 part per week sounds achievable.


Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
Did you start, Nitesh???


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments Will do in a few hours.. What is your status?


Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
Starting now from where I left off - will revisit here in a few hours :)


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments Nice beginning.. Read few pages.. continuing.. True account of how woman are handled in Middle East..
Imagine what would have happened if Nana were to marry the parakeet seller... *We would not have this story;)*


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments Do you agree with Nana about her description of Mariam's birth or Jalil?


Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
Nitesh wrote: "Nice beginning.. Read few pages.. continuing.. True account of how woman are handled in Middle East..
Imagine what would have happened if Nana were to marry the parakeet seller... *We would not ha..."


I agree with you there, the way Nana constantly makes Mariam feel undervalued is agonising - but her words are true.

I did feel that Nana's stories were pretentious and said to not lose Mariam but then I read her first visit to Jalil's house and believed all her claims about how crapily Jalil treated them. Read on further to (view spoiler). What a complete idiot. I only like Mullah Faizullah and Mariam until now :(

Where are you? I'm on page 65 and will probaly complete another 20-30 pages (PROBABLY hehe) before calling it night.


Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
What did you think about all the characters? Liked/didn't like anyone so far?

I positively detest Jalil and his wives grrrr...


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments I read around 50 Pages yesterday.. Read about Mariam's journey. Mullah appears to be a kind and benevolent character. Mariam and Mullah share a bond that can not be described. Mullah understands her feelings and is compassionate.
Jalil is all words and no action. Both the accounts- Jalil's and Nana's seem exaggerated. Can not believe the way Nana described the birth of Mariam. She had to cut the chords joining them. How on earth is that possible? Is this situation real? Are women in labor left on their own to give birth to children without anyone around?
How did you like Bibi jo? Sounds a funny character. Chatterbox, maybe :)
Do you think Mariam should not have crossed the stream to meet Jalil and should have taken an inkling when Jalil did not turn up?


Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
Yep, Mullah was like the grandpa Mariam desperately needed - I was sort of hoping that she'd get married to his grandson or something later (view spoiler).

Both Nana and Jalil's theories of Mariam's birth did seem exaggerated but I have heard of babies being delivered without midwives or doctors - by civilians, you know? In the strangest of places even.. So I can't say that unattended deliveries are a myth. Cutting the chord was the exaggerated bit in my opinion.

Bibi jo was all right, she seemed pretty inconsequential then and was inconsequential all through (I know it from where I am at now). She isn't mentioned a lot, later in the book.

Mariam should've seen through Jalil much earlier (Nana saw to that well I guess) but she had no one else who loved her as much as Jalil showed so she was indebted to love him back blindly. But you'll see how she reacts later. I don't want to give away too much :)

How much do you plan to finish today? Given how gripping the story is at the moment, I'll probably read at least another 2-3 chapters today.


Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
I've gone way too far with the novel too soon :P Almost reaching the 50% mark - need to put it down for a bit but I can't! :(

Where have you reached, Nitesh?


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments wow.. that is se progress.. I am @25% mark.. Could not read much on the weekend.. will cover up soon.. Great going..


Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
No problemo! Because I don't want to give away spoilers, we'll discuss when you finish off a good chunk :)


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments Wher e have you reached exactly.. I will try to catch up today..


Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
I left off at Chapter 29, forgot to see the page number :O

Will start 30 after work today - I think you can catch up :D


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments I should say Part 1 was amazing.. Absolutely loved it. The way Mariam devoted herself to Rasheed was unbelievable. Rasheed cared for her till the time she had her miscarriage and things worsened. Her life would have totally changed if she would have given birth to a boy.. I thought people are crazy about boys only in India but now I know. I was expecting that Mariam would give birth to a girl child and the story will then unfold. The narration is awesome. What did you feel?


Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
Blimey, that was quick, Nitesh :D

Yes, absolutely. The narration was immaculate - what I like about Hosseini is that he gives just enough information to fill in the pages and not stretch it to bore readers.

I genuinely felt that good things would finally embrace Mariam after going to Kabul - some marriages change people's lives for the better and I sincerely hoped that it was so for Mariam.

With the miscarriage, I felt the exact same things like you - about sons being given preference in India and then realise that it was the same everywhere. But then I contemplated the time period the author is talking about i.e. 1940s-1950s. Things were meant to be that way then because people couldn't stomach broad mindedness - the concept of raising a voice against your husband, the intimacy that marriage entailed, etc. was all a taboo to be discussed openly. They only knew as much that women sat at home while men tended to business and earned. So then I felt more convinced about the way the characters reacted.

Even where I am at in the novel, I am praying for poor Mariam's happiness.


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments The original plan was to read a part per week. and we surpassed our expectations... I believe Hosseini is to blame for this.. Laila's story till now is not much gripping. However, I scratch my head every time Tariq and Laila are mentioned. Does she consider him as a brother? Will she kiss him*the movie episode* Will she marry him? *Of coz not, because the plot says so*..

I loved the writing style.. the best part till now was when the author broke the news of Nana's death. What a style.. So simple and it creates a whirlpool in your stomach.


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments WOW.. I completed the Second part as well.. I have forgotten everything about Mariam now and I can just see Laila lying in the hospital I believe. I would say a very well written and very well kneaded story along with historical war and day to day affairs in Afghanistan. My next read would probably be something to do with Afghanistan and Kabul with intervention of Soviet. Jumping on to part 3 now


message 29: by Sharadha (last edited Jun 07, 2016 09:34PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
I am not giving away any spoilers :P :P But yes, Tariq and Laila were a dream to me - I loved their mention together. All guises of their relationship resonated pleasantly in my head and none of it seemed vulgar to me (considering that he was like the brother she never had, I'd normally not be able to digest such things despite having watched numerous Pakistani dramas). It seemed pure and selfless and amid the Soviet war, the budding romance was a welcoming offshoot.

Laila in the hospital, umm, oh yes - when Tariq leaves her, I was gutted for real (though that happened quite a lot in the book hehe).

Hosseini has explained the Soviet invasion, rise of the Mujahideen (view spoiler) extremely well. The downfall of Afghanistan unfolding bit-by-bit with every chapter is like living through a nightmare. The only alleviation is the unparalleled narration.

Book 3 is the longest so I won't disturb you much other than to say, happy reading :)


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments I have completed 70% of the book.. I think you were close to 75% as per your last update. My plan is to surpass you today.. LOL.. Since I researched about the four parts I know that Tariq is alive and the fourth part would be about Laila and Tariq:( Shouldn't have read about it... This lady Laila has a lot of grey matter for sure. The way she deceives Rasheed and survives with a daughter.. Amazing.. I was flabbergasted when she agreed to nikah without any thought and then it beautifully unfolded.. :)


Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
You sure are fast, Nitesh! :D I took forever to finish book 3 hehe I have two more chapters to go before closing the book.

Read this after you start book 4 and we'll discuss:
(view spoiler)

On a happier note, how much fun was Titanic-mania to read :D I was grinning ear-to-ear haha


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments OMG.. So Rasheed wasn't duped.. Wow.. More to come..


Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
When was Rasheed duped??? Laila was duped :(


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments Yeah.. she was..:(


Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
Done done done :D Where are you, Nitesh??


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments Done :) So how do you rate the book?


Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
5 stars, I wanted to take away 0.5 from it for the last two chapters which I felt were a bit of a drag but the last sentence won it back for me :)

How about you???


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments LOL.. 4.5 stars.. Same feeling about the last part.. It was too dramatic for my taste.. Maybe I haven't been in those situations and hence could be biased.. But can't digest it as of now.. Have written a review as well..


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments By the way you pushed me into completing this fatfat se.. I did not get time on weekend so had to cover it during office hours.. It was a nice experience.. My first buddy read. :)


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments When do we start our Group Read.. I would suggest let us not wait till month end and start from 15th.. What are your views??
Do you wanna pick a story book for the next BR..Let me know.. I have recently started Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri.. If you want to hop on do it.. We can read 1 story per day and discuss..


Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
Nitesh wrote: "LOL.. 4.5 stars.. Same feeling about the last part.. It was too dramatic for my taste.. Maybe I haven't been in those situations and hence could be biased.. But can't digest it as of now.. Have wri..."

I did read your review and yeah, it pretty much summed up my feelings for it too. The only giveaway for the last star was the last line, maybe I am extremely biased toward Mariam and felt that it was a good tribute to her :)

I didn't push you at all, in fact I really thought that you did a great job of catching up as I wouldn't have been able to do that if you had been ahead :P But reading during office hours is ;) Pat yourself on the back ya :D


message 42: by Sharadha (last edited Jun 08, 2016 10:46PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
Nitesh wrote: "When do we start our Group Read.. I would suggest let us not wait till month end and start from 15th.. What are your views??
Do you wanna pick a story book for the next BR..Let me know.. I have re..."


When I designed the nominations and polls, I thought that it wouldn't get on as well as it has so I gave ample time for people to notice and (maybe push them to) vote. I'll let this be for July, we can BR another book in the meantime.

I don't mind doing Interpreter of Maladies - wanted to catch up her Jhumpa Lahiri anyway (I have The Namesake reserved in the library but don't have hopes of getting them delivered anytime soon). Want to do that?


Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
The extra star was also to explain the intricacies of the Afghan wars so well - that reminds me to up my rating for The Kite Runner


Nitesh Kanthaliya | 59 comments Hehe.. It happens sometimes that you read a book and you realise that you should increase or decrease the rating of the other similar work:P

I would suggest you read A Dog's Purpose if you haven't read it so far.


Sharadha Jayaraman (jayaras) | 338 comments Mod
Marked as TBR :D Why the suggestion though?


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