“A Thousand Splendid Suns”
By Khaled Hosseini
Hosseini’s follow-up to his bestselling debut novel, “The Kite Runner,” shows three decades of Afghan life through the eyes of two women.
Mariam is the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy businessman, who after a series of devastating events is forced, at the age of 15, to marry 40-year-old Rasheed. Their union is not a happy one and after she fails to produce a son, the abuse becomes an accepted part of her everyday life. Laila is the youngest daughter of educated, liberal parents. After Laila’s 14th birthday, the tension in Afghanistan escalates and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, flees with his parents to Pakistan. Shortly after, tragedy strikes and an injured Laila is brought to the house of Mariam and Rasheed. Upon recovering, Laila is forced to make a difficult choice — one that will forever alter the course of both women’s lives.
The novel is a heartbreakingly sad look at life in Afghanistan, but at the same time an uplifting look at the power of friendship and love. Hosseini has crafted a superb second novel that deserves a look, whether one was a fan or critic of his previous book. Powerful, haunting and beautiful.
By Megan Whalen Turner
(For fourth through eighth grade)
Things are not as they appear in this fast-paced adventure and fantasy story.
Gen, a talented thief, is imprisoned in the land of Sounis for stealing the king’s seal and has just been released by the king’s magus, for the sole purpose of stealing Hamiathes’s Gift from the neighboring land of Attolia. If he fails, he will be killed; if he tries to escape, he will be hunted down; if he is successful, he will be rewarded.
The adventure takes place across the three mythical lands of Sounis, Eddis, and Attolia, which were inspired by Turner’s visit to the Mediterranean. On the journey, Gen and the magus take turns telling the other members of their party tales of the Eddisian god of thieves. These tales provide background into Gen’s family history.
Gen is a convincing narrator, and the surprise ending will leave most readers stunned, despite the foreshadowing throughout the book. Readers will definitely want to know what happens next, and fortunately for them, Turner has also written “The Queen of Attolia” and “The King of Attolia” to make an exciting trilogy.
Jeana Gockley is the children’s librarian at Joplin Public Library.
“A Thousand Splendid Suns”
- Globe Life
Head for heritage: Through years of devotion to community, title of 'Mr. Carl Junction' earned
He worked for and later owned the town's weekly newspaper, the Standard, for more than 30 years; retired as the Jasper County deputy assessor in 2004; is president of the Carl Junction cemetery board and serves as the high school alumni association's corresponding secretary.
Phyllis Seesengood: Gardner's seventh in series among her best thrillers
"Fear Nothing," the seventh novel in the D.D. Warren series, may be Lisa Gardner's best psychological thriller yet.
Ryan Richardson: Dog remembers summer toads aren't chew toys
Over the next month, I became fascinated with their well-being. As far as I could tell, none of my other neighbors had the fortune of having these little guys pay them a visit.
Frankie Meyer: USGS launches powerful map tool
The site, historicalmaps .arcgis.com/usgs, will be a tremendous help to family history researchers. The maps are free, downloadable and printable. Best of all, they include the quadrangle maps that researchers used to pay for.
Frankie Meyer: Genealogy website upgrades its microfilm ordering process
Have you recently used the website familysearch.org? I recently learned that the site has vastly improved its system allowing researchers to order microfilm copies of items listed on the site.
Ryan Richardson: Collars, leashes can help dogs learn control
I take my dog out to the biking and walking trails in Joplin on a regular basis. I'm kind of a big guy, so the exercise is great for me gets my dog out into nature a bit more. Even though it has been pretty hot lately, I still make it a point to get out there three times a week if possible.
Women's league offers practice, social opportunities for gun owners
The objective for some is to improve their skills for target or competitive shooting, the league's website says. Others, while wanting to improve their skills, also are interested in aspects of self-defense.
Cari Rerat: Gratton's series a great transition to Gaiman
In "The Lost Sun," the first book of "The United States of Asgard" by Tessa Gratton, Soren Bearskin is a berserker. He has an innate internal fire, a battle rage that he constantly tries to squelch with self-discipline, exercise, and meditation.
Frankie Meyer: List of historic sites offers plenty of research leads
In 1966, our federal government established the National Historic Preservation Act that set up the National Register of Historic Places.
Achievements (July 20)
The following people were recognized in the Joplin Globe for the following achievements.
- More Globe Life Headlines
- Head for heritage: Through years of devotion to community, title of 'Mr. Carl Junction' earned