A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini

Title: A Thousand Splendid Suns
Author: Khaled Hosseini
ISBN: 159448385X
Pages: 432
Release Date: May 22, 2007
Genre: Literary Fiction, Multicultural Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
Challenge: Countdown Challenge
Rating: 5 out of 5

From the dust jacket:

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s last thirty years — from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding — that puts the violence, fear, hope and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives — the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness — are inextricable from the history playing out around them.

Propelled by the same storytelling instinct that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once a remarkable chronicle of three decades of Afghan history and a deeply moving account of family and friendship. It is a striking, heart-wrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love — a stunning accomplishment.

I’ve had Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns on my Sony Reader [review] for awhile now, but I hadn’t ever gotten around to reading it. I don’t really enjoy reading e-books around the house, so it’s reserved for trips only. I finally felt compelled to start it on my flight down to Tampa for the holidays. Unfortunately, between talking with my husband and the excitement over Christmas (we were flying Christmas morning), I only got about 50 pages in. I barely got any time to read while I was there until the last day, and ended up devouring the novel on the flight home.

First of all, Khaled Hosseini’s writing is beautiful. I first admired it in The Kite Runner and am glad to see he has remained consistent. Even when he is describing the ugliest of scenes, his storytelling is gentle and smooth. His words flow like water and are an absolute joy to read.

Though I’ve heard the opposite from most other people, I actually enjoyed A Thousand Splendid Suns just as much, if not more, than The Kite Runner. The story is basically a glimpse at the plight of women under decades of hardships in Afghanistan. First there was the Soviet invasion and the subsequent Communist rule, which was actually beneficial to women. Their insistence on equality ensured that girls were educated along with the boys. When the mujahadeen overthrew the Communists, life became much harder for women. Girls were no longer allowed in schools. However, it was under the Taliban that the plight of women really became a nightmare. Hosseini takes the time to spell out the rules of living under the Taliban, making it real for the reader. Living in the United States, it is so difficult to comprehend how bad life was for women under Taliban rule. After the American invasion, freedom began creeping back into Afghanistan and people began to relax – but there is always that looming threat that the Taliban are regrouping and will one day return.

The characters in the novel are wonderfully written. We see through the eyes of multiple women and feel each of their hurts, each of their scars. While the writing makes the book easy to read, the content sometimes is not. A Thousand Splendid Suns is definitely heartbreaking. Reading on the plane, I found it difficult to keep tears from spilling as I read the stories of Mariam and Laila, the two main characters of the novel.

I can’t recommend A Thousand Splendid Suns highly enough. Hosseini has created a masterpiece that anyone can appreciate. It’s a novel that will stay with me for a long time.

Comments

  1. Great review. I agree, it was as good as The Kite Runner, in it’s own way. I loved it.

  2. Great review. I want to read this one, but first, I need to read the copy of The Kite Runner that’s sitting in my TBR pile.

  3. Wonderful review! I am really looking forward to reading this one. I had wanted to get to it this past year, but it didn’t work out. Hopefully this year!

  4. Great review Swapna. I agree with you. I liked both books-they were both amazing novels in their own way. I can’t wait to see what he will write next.

  5. Excellent review. I hope to read The Kite Runner soon.

  6. I read Kite Runner and One Thousand Splendid Suns. I loved One Thousand Splendid Suns much better than Kite Runner. I am a women’s Libber maybe that why I always seem to route for books that deal with any kind of Women’s oppression. Thanks for the review. I would have to say that this book that I read in Jan 08 has to be my favorite book that I read this year.

  7. I love this one. I cried and cried and cried. Nice review.

  8. I agree with you – I loved this book more than The Kite Runner…it is wonderfully written. What a fantastic review you have here! Glad to see you enjoyed this one.

  9. I loved this book too. I think it’s one of the best books I have read. Great review.

  10. I agree with you about this book vs. The Kite Runner. I felt like Thousand Splendid Suns was more gentle, despite the brutality in the story. I really enjoyed it.

  11. I loved this one too!

  12. I haven’t read this one yet! I will definitely get onto it xoxo

    http://lookatthatbook.blogspot.com

  13. Hi, my first reaction to your lit was predictable…how does she do it! But anyways, I loved The Kite Runner more than ‘Thousand Splendid Suns’. You can say that probably, that was the first time I read him, and was impressed….second time, the expectation is set, so it is more difficult for the writer to match! But I loved your blog. I am targeting just 40-50 books in a year. That also looks pretty difficult!

  14. Hi, my first reaction to your lit was predictable…how does she do it! But anyways, I loved The Kite Runner more than ‘Thousand Splendid Suns’. You can say that probably, that was the first time I read him, and was impressed….second time, the expectation is set, so it is more difficult for the writer to match! But I loved your blog. I am targeting just 40-50 books in a year. That also looks pretty difficult!

Trackbacks

  1. […] A <b>Thousand Splendid Suns</b> – Khaled Hosseini – S Krishna's Books […]

Leave a Reply

Comment Policy:  I welcome comments and read each one I receive. If your comment needs a response, I will provide it in a timely manner, as I read every comment I receive. Please keep your comments civil and polite! I reserve the right to delete any comments that are rude or inappropriate. Because of spam, I have to moderate comments on old posts. Please be patient - I will approve your comment quickly.

Before the tag in the Genesis footer: !-- Quantcast Tag -->