I just finished what quickly became one of the best books I have ever read. It was very tough at times to get through it, as a woman and as a mother, and there were nights I put the book down and cried myself to sleep because I was so invested in the lives of the women in the story.
Although I have been an avid reader from a very young age and I have an active enough imagination to slip into the world of a lot of books I read, rarely does a book affect me this way.
I should also backtrack and point out that I have read several books by American authors of Middle Eastern descent, and the writing is always astounding to me. These are people who speak my language secondly, yet the way they have with words is beyond any imagery I could create.
"A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini was on my Christmas list after I read "The Kite Runner" a few years ago and loved it. I knew I would enjoy the book, but I had no idea that as a free Christian woman, I would become so involved with the characters and the storylines. I'm not meaning this to be a book review, and I hate giving spoilers, so I will just wrap up with the thought that this book taught me so much about human nature, as well as how lucky I am to live in this society, in this time and age, when elsewhere in the world women and families are forced to make unimaginably heart-wrenching decisions every day.
Even better, at the end of the book was an answer to the questions that hung around in my subconcious as I was reading: How can I help the people who are living this devestation? And since my goal is to highlight 12 worthy charities in 2011, it is only fitting that I begin with the Khaled Hosseini Foundation. January is even more fitting a time to donate to this organization, as somewhere in Afghanistan a family is struggling to stay warm in a makeshift tent with temperatures of only 19 degrees. Right now, one of these mothers' children the same age as my son is suffering from starvation and clinging to life, while I complain that Jacob's runny nose and cough caused him to wake up at 11PM suddenly, interrupting my viewing of "The Bachelor".
No matter what position in life you are, if ever person who reads my blog only donates $10, we will likely have enough to provide shelter for a family this winter. What could make your January more warm and fuzzy than that?