A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini (Bloomsbury, £5.99)
It was only after reading this book that I had an insight, an understanding as to why our military forces were stationed in Afghanistan. This is a brutal and uncomfortable read.
It’s the story of two particular Afghan women whose lives are unquestionably far removed from the freedoms we take for granted in the western world. You will find yourself instantly transfixed by the life of Mariam, feel her deep-set pain and cry as her journey unfolds.
And then through war, loss and fate Laila enters Mariam’s story. This friendship is heart wrenching and shows the reader how a woman’s love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice. This emotion is portrayed as the key component to survival.
The author exposes the plight of women in Afghanistan over a 30-year period that depicts political events as we follow this extraordinary account of these two characters. Be prepared for a stunning and deeply moving read.
Nikki Banks, EA, G4S