29 July, 2021

Body Solstice

Hosseini may not make memorable characters but he does tell memorable tales. Yet this is thinner gruel, less fully realised and less satisfying than the last.

Body Solstice
Khaled Hosseini is the author of the sensational bestseller The Kite Runner, a wrenching story set in a Kabul under assault first by the Soviets, then the warlords, and eventually the Taliban. It tells of two young boys growing and suffering through the dangers, while around them the sweet life of a once wonderfully civilised city is poisoned beyond all healing. In Suns, Hosseini returns to the scene. Once more he tells a tale of growing and surviving in a disintegrating world, but this time the protagonists are two young women, more vulnerable by far. In their world, unthinking discrimination against females is commonplace, as is arbitrary male violence. Malign circumstances bring the two of them to be married to the same brute of a husband, yet misfortune unites them and they develop a close bond with each other. Their bonding together, and the clandestine love of one of them for a lost childhood friend, provide almost the only emotional relief in this merciless world. Their individual stories, their stoical endurance and unavailing...

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