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A Thousand Splendid Suns

A book by Khaled Hosseini.

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If You Really Want to Sink Your Teeth Into a Story

  • Nov 17, 2008
  • by
A Thousand Splendid Suns will transport you to another world and immerse you in the lives of contemporary women living in war-torn Afghanistan. The author has a remarkable gift for storytelling, and even though the story is not pretty--in fact it's VERY upsetting--it's a tale that will keep you turning pages. I can't believe there's anything else in print--fiction or non-fiction--that illustrates the lives endured by the Afghani people in a more graphic, poignant manner.

The recent history of Afghanistan, with a focus on the western city of Heart and then its largest city, Kabul, is played out through the eyes of two characters. Mariam is the unrecognized daughter (harami) of a rich man and his former servant, and the younger Laila, who is the much-loved daughter of educated parents. By tragic, contrived and unforgivable circumstances, their lives come together. Hardships brought on by the Soviet invasion, the Taliban takeover, and then the events after 9-11 (also a severe drought) are one aspect to the tale; however, what's most compelling is how these women were utterly degraded by men in a variety of ways--by a father, a husband, the Taliban, society at large. (This is not to say that every man in the story is a despicable character. Laila's father and best friend, Tariq, are not.)

Overall, the story shows how the effect of 30 years of brutal conflict and upheaval have torn apart this society. It broke my heart.
A Thousand Splendid Suns

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November 18, 2008
You've really captured the hell that is these women's lives. Good review.
More A Thousand Splendid Suns reviews
review by . January 10, 2010
Long before Mariam was capable of even understanding the concept, she knew she was a "harami" - illegitimate and unwanted. Her impoverished, embittered mother, rejected by the wealthy Afghani business man who had fathered Mariam, spirals downward from disgust and hatred through mental illness to an eventual suicide. She spits the cruel, pejorative label into Mariam's face at every opportunity. Her sole remaining purpose in life is to have Mariam join her in the crushing belief that there …
review by . June 15, 2010
Even better than The Kite Runner!! There exists in this book, a powerful importance behind each and every detail that realistically describes a nation of oppressed women. The traditions of the country in reference to women are described intensely through the life on one powerful person, in particular. An important read for all people!!
Quick Tip by . August 09, 2010
Good but so dismal and punchguts in mood it doesn't have a lot of re-read value to me. If I want to remind myself of Afghani women's difficult lives, I'll prefer real women's stories.
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
I can't believe this book is so low rated. It was wonderful and sad. The true life story of a a woman's struggle in the middle east kept me riveted.
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
The Kite Runner was definitely not a fluke! This guy can write! :) This book will make any American woman count her blessings while once again opening that curtain for us to peek into Afghan culture.
Quick Tip by . July 11, 2010
His first book, Kite Runner, told such a horrific story that I was afraid to read his second book but I'm so glad I finally did. Also a story of hard lives, but with so much grace stemming from the relationship between the two lead women. Memorable, authentic, satisfying. Highly recommended.
Quick Tip by . July 08, 2010
This is one of my favorite books! Very sad but very good. Loved it!!!!
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
Not as good as The Kite Runner, but still a good read. It portrays the hardships of females in Muslim countries.
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
not as good as the original, but still a emotional, and vivid book about living in the middle east
Quick Tip by . June 15, 2010
I found it dull
About the reviewer
Michele VanOrt Cozzens ()
Ranked #269
I am the mother of two daughters--a tween and a teen. Need I say more about my current state of mind?
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About this book


A Thousand Splendid Suns is the second novel by Afgan author Khaled Hosseini. Before its May 22, 2007 release, the book reached #2 on Amazon.com's bestseller list.
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ISBN-10: 1594489505
ISBN-13: 978-1594489501
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Publisher: Riverhead

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