Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Review of A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Title/Author: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Publisher/Date published: Bloomsbury, first published in 2007
How I got this book: bought it 3 years ago (it almost made the Top Ten Tuesday list of books collecting dust on my shelf)
Why I read this book: it fit nicely into a challenge from the College Students group and I always meant to read it anyway.

Goodreads summary: "Set like its predecessor in war-torn Afghanistan, A Thousand Splendid Suns uses that tumultuous backdrop to render the heroic plight of two women of different generations married to the same savagely abusive male. Born out of wedlock, Mariam was forced to marry 40-year-old Rasheed when she was only 15. Then, 18 years later, her still childless husband angrily takes an even younger wife. Hosseini renders the story of Mariam and her "sister/daughter," Laila, with persuasive detail and consummate humanity. Their abject situation leaves them no emotional space for idle philosophizing; their resistance is from the very core of their being."

I've heard people rave about Hosseini's books, both the Kite Runner and this one. And while I haven't read the Kite Runner, I can honestly say that this one deserves the praise. My copy had 387 pages and the story never once seemed to drag. I immediatley felt connected to Mariam.

From a young age, she hasn't had an easy life. And it doesn't really get better for her. I was SOO rooting for her to find happiness and someone to love who she wouldn't be taken away from. I felt she had such a big heart and so much love to give, but was never given the chance. Mariam is a really strong woman, she's faced every hardship coming her way and she really is someone to look up to.
***SPOILER ALERT, light up to read***
OMG, I cried when she was executed! She was so brave and such a beautiful person. I so wanted her and Laila's escape to work and for Mariam to finally get a break.
**END of spoiler***

I don't know very much about Afghanistan as a country. I know about the war and I know what's shown on television, but that's not what makes a country the way it is. This book has shown me its history and the daily life of someone who lives there and I really appreciate the view from this point.

The romance between Laila and Tariq was beautiful. I also really enjoyed the slowly developing friendship between Laila and Mariam, both brave women that find a way to make a life together, even with an abusive husband.

I loved the quote the book's title refers to:
"One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls."

I absolutely loved this book, for me it lived up to the hype and I immediately passed it on to my mother, who I'm sure will enjoy it as well.

My rating: 5 stars


  1. Great review! I'm glad you liked it. :) Which challenge task did this one fit into?

    - Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl

    1. Oh, LOL! I wrote this review about a year ago after I finished the book so I didn't read it for the current challenge ;)

  2. See, stuff like the spoilers is why I avoid this book!
    I could never cope.

    Loved your review, though! :D You are braver than me for reading this book.

    1. It's heartwrenching but SO GOOD! If you're feeling brave you should definitely give it a try, it's amazing!

  3. The Kite Runner is even better, in my humble opinion :-) He's a great writer!

    1. I really need to get my hands on that one! If you say it's better I'm definitely reading it! :)

  4. Wow, I really want to read this. It sounds really good - and I've read The Kite Runner way before I started blogging and liked it.

  5. amazing book! the kite runner was great too

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  7. I was especially moved by Hesseini's eloquent writing and observations. In writing of friendship, "Boys, Laila came to see, treated friendship the way they treated the sun: its existence undisputed; its radiance best enjoyed, not beheld directly." There aren't too many writers who can produce back-to-back masterpieces. Khaled Hosseini is one of those rare talents who can pull off such a feat.

    Reviews Plenty of Fish