Some new additions to my bookshelf. Just got these at the Waterstones with a good deal, 'Choose from any 3 for 2' and since i spent more than £10, i got another book at the cost of £3.99 and another book free of charge...
Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry the troubled and bitter Rasheed, who is thirty years her senior. Nearly two decades later, in a climate of growing unrest, tragedy strikes fifteen-year-old Laila, who must leave her home and join Mariam's unhappy household. Laila and Mariam are to find consolation in each other, their friendship to grow as deep as the bond between sisters, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. With the passing of time comes Taliban rule over Afghanistan, the streets of Kabul loud with the sound of gunfire and bombs, life a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear, the women's endurance tested beyond their worst imaginings. Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism. In the end, it is love that triumphs over death and destruction. "A Thousand Splendid Suns" is an unforgettable portrait of a wounded country and a deeply moving story of family and friendship. It is a beautiful, heart-wrenching story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely bond and an indestructible love.
Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the approval of his father and resolves to win the local kite-fighting toumament, to prove that he has the makings of a man. His loyal friend Hassan promises to help him? for he always helps Amir? but this is 1970s Afghanistan and Hassan is merely a low-caste servant who is jeered at in the street, although Amir still feels jealous of his natural courage and the place he holds in his father's heart. But neither of the boys could foresee what would happen to Hassan on the afternoon of the tournament, which was to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return, to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption. Now is one of the major films.
1940: The Spanish Civil War is over, and Madrid lies ruined, its people starving, while the Germans continue their relentless march through Europe. Britain now stands alone while General Franco considers whether to abandon neutrality and enter the war. Into this uncertain world comes Harry Brett: a traumatised veteran of Dunkirk turned reluctant spy for the British Secret Service. Sent to gain the confidence of old schoolfriend Sandy Forsyth, now a shady Madrid businessman, Harry finds himself involved in a dangerous game - and surrounded by memories. Meanwhile Sandy's girlfriend, ex-Red Cross nurse Barbara Clare, is engaged on a secret mission of her own - to find her former lover Bernie Piper, a passionate Communist in the International Brigades, who vanished on the bloody battlefields of the Jarama. In a vivid and haunting depiction of wartime Spain, "Winter in Madrid" is an intimate and compelling tale which offers a remarkable sense of history unfolding, and the profound impact of impossible choices. 'Sansom adroitly draws the disparate strands of his ambitious saga together. His non-pareil evocations of time and place anchor his characters with satisfying precision' - "Independent".
A young man accompanies his cousin to the hospital to check an unusual hearing complaint and recalls a story of a woman put to sleep by tiny flies crawling inside her ear; a mirror appears out of nowhere and a nightwatchman is unnerved as his reflection tries to take control of him; a couple's relationship is unbalanced after dining exclusively on exquisite crab while on holiday; a man follows instructions on the back of a postcard to apply for a job, but an unknown password stands between him and his mysterious employer. In each one of these stories, Murakami sidesteps the real and sprints for the surreal. Everyday events are transcended, leaving the reader dazzled by this master of his craft. "Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman" is Murakami's most eclectic collection of stories to date, spanning five years of his writing. An introduction explains the diversity of the author's choice.