Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns

by Khaled Hosseini
published 2007
completed February 2010

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a story of two Afghan women--Mariam and Laila--who are born into drastically different circumstances.  Their lives converge during a tumultuous time in Afghanistan.  It is a heart-wrenching story told through the perspective of women, of the physical and emotional devastation in Afghanistan over the past several decades.

Afghan history is not one of my strengths, but this book made it come alive for me.  This is what I love about books; it can open your eyes to different parts of the world and different cultures.  Hosseini is an incredible storyteller, and Mariam and Laila are beautiful characters.  They were different, but both had immense strength and an extraordinary capacity to hope, even in the bleakest of circumstances.

As a warning, there is a great deal of violence, but I felt that it wasn't gratuitous.  It made me realize how fortunate I am to live in a country where women have freedom and are treated with respect.  It was not a light read, but this was one of my favorite books so far this year.


  1. I have avoided this because I read Hosseini's The Kite Runner first and it was so horrible (not the writing by any means, but the subject matter). Have you read The Kite Runner?

  2. Kathy--I’m sorry you didn’t like The Kite Runner. I have read it and the subject matter is very similar. If you were turned off by The Kite Runner because of the violence, I would avoid reading A Thousand Splendid Suns.