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A Thousand Splendid Suns
A Thousand Splendid Suns
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Propelled by the same superb instinct for storytelling that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, 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. — Born a generation apart and with very different ideas abo...  more »
ISBN-13: 9781594489518
ISBN-10: 1594489513
Rating:
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 173

4.3 stars, based on 173 ratings
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
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reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns on + 239 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 28
Oh wow.

I went into this book half-dreading it. I mean, can he even come close to The Kite Runner? That was such a great book, one of my favorites.

Well, Mr. Hosseini, it is your fault that it's almost 9am here and I'm tired. Why? I was up until 5am turning pages, I could NOT pry this book out of my hands. Once I hit around page 120, I was a goner. I HAD to finish it.

I won't say it's as good as Kite Runner - that would be a mistake. They are two different books, set in the same place/time (approximately anyway). The stories are different though. Several times, I cried so hard I couldn't read from all the blurring tears. This is a touching book, of two women whose lives converge, it's sad, but oh so beautifully told. The authors writing carries you away to this faraway place, making you be there, in the moment, with the people, in that climate, dealing with that oppression.

I am again struck by how different our lives were in the US during this time period (just 6-7 years ago) than it was in other countries. I cannot imagine living like some of them did.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns on + 320 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 22
Can I give this book more than 5 stars? If you liked The Kite Runner you will like this book. The story is very compelling, disturbing and sad. It gave me a deeper appreciation for being an American citizen. What the two main characters go thru is something we cannot even begin to imagine. Not a book for the faint of heart. Some of the violence is quite graphic, IMHO. I read the book in less than 2 days, so get comfortable you are not going to want to put this book down. I hope that Hosseini has another book in the works.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns on + 49 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 20
I just nabbed this one from my library. I almost read the entire thing in one sitting! This books is wonderful; I'm practically speechless. You owe it to yourself to read this one. I'm especially impressed with a male author who showcases the strength, courage and endurance women have...must have, to survive. Afghanistan is portrayed as a beautiful country and culture, surviving and enduring (much like its women) through regime after regime; waiting patiently, and with hope, for sanity and peace to return.
This story will stay with me for quite a while.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns on + 907 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
It isn't often that I find a book that I love so much I hate to give it up. But this is one of them. When I love a book I also want everyone I know to read it too. And I love this book so much I will share with the hopes that as someone else reads it, they too will find the joy I found in thse words. This author is amazing. This is the second of his books i've read and I am hoping there will be more from him.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns on + 112 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
What a phenomenal read. This is the story of turmoil in Afghanistan, the story of two women, Mariam and Laila, that spans 3 decades. This is the story of how women of Afghanistan are dependent on men: fathers, husbands, and sons. This was a beautiful novel.
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reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns on + 92 more book reviews
I have been putting off reading this book because I loved the Kite Runner so much, I was afraid Hosseini's 2nd book would be a disappointment (happens a lot!).

I'm happy to say that this was an incredible book. Touching, scary, sad, and heartfelt, I really felt I knew the characters so well. I wanted to meet them. I wanted to talk to them. They were so very REAL.

Also, this book is set against the history of Afghanastan over the last 30 or 40 years - and the history is very interesting and very clear. I've always been a bit confused as to the timeline of Afghan history, but this book taught me more than any article or summary I've ever read - probably because it wasn't just a dry recitation of facts: You had the characters living among the multiple historic changes, and it was easier to understand each chapter in Afghanastan's history.

I very very very highly recommend this book.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns on + 151 more book reviews
Khaled Hosseins second novel is once again set in Afghanistan and much of the story takes place during the Russian invasion in 1978 and takes us through the end of the Taliban rule. The story focuses on the lives of two women, Mariam and Laila, who grow up in very different circumstances but end up together under similar circumstances.

Mariam is the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy man who barely acknowledges her existence. She has no formal education but is taught the Koran. When her mother tragically dies, rather than taking her into his family, he marries her off to a cobbler who lives in Kabul.

Laila grows up in Kabul, a neighbor of the cobbler and Mariam, although the two families do not interact with each other. Laila is well educated and her friends tease her that she will be making newspaper headlines when they are having babies.

Lailas two older brothers join the Taliban to fight the Russian invaders and are killed during the fighting. This sets her mother into an extreme depressive state. Her father is the one who is consistently there for her.

While her father is not fond of the Russian leadership, he knows that the Muslim rule of the Taliban will be devastating for the women in Afghanistan as well as many other areas of their lives in Afghanistan.

When Lailas parents are killed in a bombing attack just before the familys plans to leave for Pakistan take place, Laila ends up at the home of the cobbler and his wife. The cobbler orchestrates events to bring Laila to agree to be his wife.

Mariam and Laila do not get along and the fact that Laila is soon found to be pregnant does not bind the two women together as Mariam has suffered multiple miscarriages during her marriage.

One thing that eventually brings them together is the terrible treatment both receive at the hands of the cobbler who requires that both wear hajibs when in public and that they may not be seen in public without him. The rise of the Taliban rule only reinforces his behavior.

The other thing that brings them together is the birth of Lailas daughter. The two women form a bond that brings each to be willing to make great sacrifices for the other. The ultimate sacrifice happens several years after the birth of Lailas son.

I really enjoyed this book. It showed me what life was like in Afghanistan at the time of the Soviet invasion and after when the Taliban rule took over. It definitely brought forth gray area that was Soviet rule may not have been what the Afghan people wanted, but during that time, women were respected as equals and educated. Taliban rule turned these same women into slaves.
reviewed A Thousand Splendid Suns on
Bar none the absolutely BEST book I've read in years! A wonderfully written, beautiful story of individual strength and faith in the face of insurmountable odds.

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