Friday, December 14, 2007

A Great Book

You may already know that I love reading books. Ever since I was an 8 year old kid, I would go to the library every week (on Mondays after ballet class, in fact) and the employees of my small town bookstore knew my voice when I called to order something. Even now, I can't get enough of reading as much fiction and non-fiction as I can get my hands on.

Last night I finished Khaled Hosseini's second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns This book is similar to his first, The Kite Runner, as it focuses on the day-to-day reality of Afghans who are surviving the realities of war. What's different about this one is that the main characters are women who are also surviving rape, domestic violence, and watching their children grow up in an environment where girls and women are not allowed outside the home without a male family member to accompany them.

To say the themes of this novel are overwhelming is an understatement. After closing the book, it felt so strange to wonder through my very comfortable home knowing that I don't have a clue what it is like to live in a country like Afghanistan. I do know what it's like to live in the world as a woman, however, and I know that some struggles and oppressions are the same in any language.


Jenny said...

If I wasn't obsessed with knitting enough garments to blanket the entire city of Portland, I might have time to read again.

It's difficult for me sometimes to read a book or watch a movie relating to domestic violence or sexual assault after working all day. I almost had to turn off "Blood Diamond" (not really about DV or SA, but torture and brainwashing, so I call that close enough). I barely made it through "The Last King of Scotland," but I had to put down my knitting and cuddle with my dog.

It amazes me how surrounded we are by violence, yet how blissfully unaware and unaffected most people are by it. I recently attended my DH's holiday work party, and I always have to remember to steel myself against the weird looks I get when I tell people what I do. The best advice I got is from a friend of mine whose mother is a psychiatrist. She told me her mother eventually grew tired of the "the look", and started telling people she was a dentist.

Ms. Fincher's Finishing School for Awesome Lads and Lasses said...

We should start a PWCL book club. I would love to discuss the things I read with all you amazing brainy ladies!