"A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini

From the author of The Kite Runner, this is a story about two Afganistan women, and how their lives were affected, and ultimately intersected, by war.

Although the characters are fictional, the setting is very real and based on historical events. This book depicts the way women were/are treated in Afganistan, or should I say mistreated? It is gut-wrenching, painful to read about, yet the sacrifices and abuse these women endured just to survive inspires courage and continues to remind me not to sweat the small and trivial things. While the content of the book is very sad and depressing, there is beauty, strength and glints of hope within its pages.

The book is beautifully written. It makes you feel as if you are actually standing in Afganistan, seeing exactly what the characters are seeing, feeling what they are feeling. It brought tears to my eyes when I read about the deplorable condition of the women's hospital, where the female doctors were forced to operate without anesthetic, using rewashed surgical gloves.

If you are wondering or debating why we are fighting a war in the Middle East, this book is a must-read for you.