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A Thousand Splendid Suns

by Khaled Hosseini

A compelling novel about the miserable lot of young women in war torn Afghanistan. Mariam is sent to Kabul, aged 15 , to marry Rasheed – a much older man. This is the story of her unhappy life – but also an unexpected and life-enhancing friendship. Will stay with you long after that final page.

Extract

' ... I'm a different breed of man, Mariam. Where I come from, one wrong look, one improper word and blood is spilled. Where I come from, a woman's face is her husband's business only. I want you to remember that. Do you understand?' Mariam nodded. When he extended the bag to her she took it. The earlier pleasure over his approval of her cooking had evaporated. In its stead, a sensation of shrinking. This man's will felt to Mariam as imposing and immovable as the Safid-koh mountains looming over Gul Daman. Mariam had never before worn a burqa. Rasheed had to help her put it on. The padded headpiece felt tight and heavy on her skull and it was strange seeing the word through a mesh screen. She practised walking around her room in it and kept stepping on the hem and stumbling. The loss of peripheral vision was unnerving and she did not like the way the pleated cloth kept pressing against her mouth. 'You'll get used to it' Rasheed said. 'With time, I bet you'll even like it.'

Parallels

The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad
 

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