12 September, 2021

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini - [Book Review]

Book Details:

Title: A Thousand Splendid Suns

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Genre: War Fiction

Publisher: Riverhead Books

Print length: 372 pages

Source: Copy from the local library

Blurb :

Propelled by the same superb instinct for storytelling that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, the #1 New York Times bestseller A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once an incredible chronicle of thirty years of Afghan history and a deeply moving story of family, friendship, faith, and the salvation to be found in love.

“Just as good, if not better, than Khaled Hosseini’s best-selling first book, The Kite Runner.”—Newsweek

Khaled Hosseini returns with a beautiful, riveting, and haunting novel that confirms his place as one of the most important literary writers today.

Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss, and by fate. As they endure the ever-escalating dangers around them-in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul-they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman's love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end, it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.

A stunning accomplishment, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a haunting, heartbreaking, compelling story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love.

Purchase Link:

My Review :

I got this book from our local library and this is the first book by Khaled Hosseini that I read after listening to many great reviews.

This is a heart-touching story of 2 women in Afghanistan during the period of war with Russia and when the country is occupied by the Taliban later. Mariam who is smart and intelligent raised by her mom had to go through so many difficulties in her life for one bad decision of trusting her father Jalil. 

We feel the problems of Mariam through the story and relate to her helplessness after she is forcibly married to Rasheed at a young age. 

Laila who is the neighbor of Mariam in Kabul is a girl raised by her parents who are educated. Her life turns upside down when their parents die due to the bombing and her friend Tariq leaving with his family to Pakistan due to war. She takes an important decision in her life knowing that it would hurt her forever.

Rasheed's character makes us hate him. He uses the rules of patriarchy the best by manipulating both Mariam and Laila.

The rules set by the Taliban on Afghanistan women seem cruel. It is so sad to read that women didn't have freedom even to walk outside their house without a male companion and that even the police never cared about domestic violence.

It is inspiring to see how women survived without their basic rights in those times. Mariam has to take the difficult decision but she is brave enough to sacrifice her life for the good of Laila who is like her daughter. 

Laila is courageous enough to rebel against Rasheed and even get beatings just to meet her daughter. Mariam and Laila are some of the best women characters I ever read.

The story ends very well, but it makes us shiver thinking of the atrocities against women in those times. 

Usually, war stories are depressing to read. But, this story though heart-wrenching and emotional, it makes us feel positive and hopeful.

What's great?

The way story is written makes it relatable to the readers. The characterization is thorough and deep. The message at the end is great and it is definitely the best read.

My Rating:


I recommend this book to readers who love historical fiction, and real war stories.

About the Author:

Khaled Hosseini is one of the most widely read and beloved novelists in the world, with over thirty eight million copies of his books sold in more than seventy countries. The Kite Runner was a major film and was a Book of the Decade, chosen by The Times, Daily Telegraph and Guardian. A Thousand Splendid Suns was the Richard & Judy Best Read of the Year in 2008. Hosseini is also a Goodwill Envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Refugee Agency and the founder of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation which provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan. He was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and lives in northern California.

Until next time,

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