A Thousand Splendid Suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Book - 2007
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Chronicles the lives of two Afghan women who struggle to survive, raise a family, and find happiness in war-torn Afghanistan.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Group, 2007
ISBN: 9781594489501
1594489505
Branch Call Number: FIC Hosse 3558
Characteristics: 372 p

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s
sgcf
Mar 26, 2017

The story felt stilted at the start for me, with Afghanistan’s culture and brutal history self-consciously splattered over all. Maybe it was because I loved The Kite Runner so very much and was comparing. But within a 100 pages or so I was utterly engrossed, cared about the two main characters, and couldn’t put it down. I relish this *easy* way, ie. fiction, to gain insight into a history. Viciously educational.

y
yesucan
Feb 23, 2017

Amazing book. The story is so true of what goes on with women in that part of the world. Could not put the book down.

c
Candaceb108
May 02, 2016

I hope I live long enough to read novels reflecting a reality of truly egalitarian, non-repressive, sensually celebrated women's lives in the Middle East and in the West.

b
becker
Apr 21, 2016

Intensely poignant at times. A really beautiful story. It leaves you feeling thoughtful.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Apr 18, 2016

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a novel by Khaled Hosseini. This novel follows the life of two completely different women, from their childhood into adulthood, who are forced together by the war in Afghanistan. These two women form a friendship that could never be unraveled, even by death. Khaled Hosseini was also the author of The Kite Runner, which I also read. I didn’t enjoy this novel as much as The Kite Runner because I felt that The Kite Runner was much more interesting than A Thousand Splendid Suns, which felt boring at times. I wouldn’t recommend this novel for anyone under the age of 13 because the plot and the violence wouldn’t be suitable for children.
For me, The Kite Runner was much more interesting as the plot had more action. A Thousand Splendid Suns felt boring at times and couldn’t hold my attention making it a more difficult read.
- @BookLover of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a heart rending story that revolves around the lives of two women, Mariam and Laila. The backdrop sets against Afghanistan, where the beauty of the country is hidden beneath the bombs, blood and political turmoil. When Mariam and Laila cross paths, they are drawn together by their common suffering. The most prominent theme of the story is based on the women’s abilities to endure mental and physical torment, while never losing hope for future happiness. Other important subjects, including perseverance, shame, love, marriage, friendship, and oppression, are demonstrated thoroughly by the narrative. A Thousand Splendid Suns is an emotionally powerful story written by Khaled Hosseini that touches the soul. It will undoubtedly appeal to fans of The Kite Runner!
- @VirtueofReading of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

This is such an important book for people to read! Especially for those of us who consider ourselves feminists... Even though it is important to fight for the struggles we face here in Canada, it is equally important for us to educate ourselves about the struggles of women in other countries. This book did just that. Centered around the lives of two women in Afghanistan, A Thousand Splendid Suns takes you on a heart wrenching journey. If, like me, you were in love with The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini certainly does not disappoint with this masterpiece. I urge you all to read this. Stay educated! Stay aware! 5/5 Stars!
- @activistreader of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

t
towenby
Apr 04, 2016

This is an exceptionally moving and life-changing book about the life of women and children in war-torn Afghanistan. It's an amazing book, written by an amazing author.

p
PeterCourt
Sep 30, 2015

Please renew this book. I still can't get to a renew button on the this site. I don't want to save this message nor cancel it but there is no 'SEND' icon!

c
christ110
Jul 11, 2015

Very well-written and recommended for teenagers and up!

l
Lotte_
Apr 15, 2015

a wonderful story about the struggles of women in afghanistan and the hurt and terror of war. i enjoyed it more than the kite runner

Chapel_Hill_KenMc Nov 09, 2014

Better than Kite Runner for the fluidity of the writing and realism of the tone. Strong condemnation of the treatment of women in fundamentalist Afghanistan.

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Summary

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randallflagg Mar 03, 2012

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The novel is divided into four parts. The first part focuses exclusively on Mariam, the second and fourth parts focus on Laila, and the third part switches focus between Mariam and Laila with each chapter.

Mariam lives in a kolba on the outskirts of Herat with her mother. Jalil, her father, is a wealthy man who lives in town with three wives and nine children. Because Mariam is his illegitimate daughter, she cannot live with them, but Jalil visits her every Thursday. On her fifteenth birthday, Mariam wants her father to take her to see Pinocchio at his movie theater. When he does not show up, she hikes into town and goes to his house. He refuses to see her, and she ends up sleeping on the porch. In the morning, Mariam returns home to find that her mother has hanged herself out of fear that her daughter has deserted her. Mariam is then taken to live in her father's house. Jalil arranges for her to be married to Rasheed, a shoemaker from Kabul who is thirty years her senior. In Kabul, Mariam becomes pregnant seven successive times, but is never able to carry a child to term, and Rasheed gradually becomes more abusive.

In the same neighborhood live a girl named Laila and a boy named Tariq, who are close friends, but careful of social boundaries. War comes to Afghanistan, and Kabul is bombarded by rocket attacks. Tariq's family decides to leave the city, and the emotional farewell between Laila and Tariq ends with them making love. Laila's family also decides to leave Kabul, but as they are packing a rocket destroys the house, kills her parents, and severely injures Laila. Laila is taken in by Rasheed and Mariam.

After recovering from her injuries, Laila discovers that she is pregnant with Tariq's child. After being told that Tariq is dead, she agrees to marry Rasheed, who is eager to have a young and attractive second wife, and hopes to have a child with her. When Laila gives birth to a daughter, Aziza, Rasheed is displeased and suspicious, and he soon becomes abusive toward Laila. Mariam and Laila eventually become confidantes and best friends. They plan to run away from Rasheed and leave Kabul, but they are caught at the bus station. Rasheed beats them and deprives them of water for several days, almost killing Aziza.

A few years later, Laila gives birth to Zalmai, Rasheed's son. The Taliban has risen to power, and there is a drought, and living conditions in Kabul become poor. Rasheed's workshop burns down, and he is forced to take jobs for which he is ill-suited. Rasheed sends Aziza to an orphanage. Then one day, Tariq appears outside the house. He and Laila are reunited, and their passions flare anew. When Rasheed returns home from work, Zalmai tells his father about the visitor. Rasheed starts to savagely beat Laila. He nearly strangles her, but Mariam kills Rasheed with a shovel. Afterwards, Mariam confesses to killing Rasheed, in order to draw attention away from Laila and Tariq, and is executed, while Laila and Tariq leave for Pakistan with Aziza and Zalmai.

After the fall of the Taliban, Laila and Tariq return to Afghanistan. They stop in the village where Mariam was raised, and discover a package that Mariam's father left behind for her: a videotape of Pinocchio, a small pile of money and a letter. Laila reads the letter and discovers that Jalil regretted sending Mariam away. Laila and Tariq return to Kabul and fix up the orphanage, where Laila starts working as a teacher. Laila is pregnant with her third child, and if it is a girl, it is suggested she will be named Mariam.

h
haploU5
Jul 14, 2011

Though not a huge fan of contemporary fiction, I finally succumbed after reading several rave reviews and must admit I wasn’t disappointed. Face-paced and well-written, it is easily read in a few sittings.
The story follows 2 women, Miriam and Laila, both born in Afghanistan but in different regions and hence very different worlds. Both their lives ultimately collide through the consequences of unrelenting battles, invasions and uprisings this country has undergone over the last half century.
As both women endure unimaginable suffering and degradation, the story climaxes with the rise of the Taliban and its notorious intolerance and cruelty that will make any woman reader grateful to have had the extraordinary luck of living in a free country.
What I took away from this story is that there is a culture to Afghanistan that is constantly overshadowed (or in some cases, destroyed) by its political issues. If nothing else, it compelled me to explore its history and unique culture a little further.
All in all, a good story with opportunities to learn about a place I otherwise may not have explored.

l
LuluY
Jul 04, 2011

The story takes place during the war in Afghanistan, before and after the Taliban. A beautifully haunting story of 2 unlikely characters brought together during the war, and the sacrifices they had to make for the ones they love.

mackenzie_kilbourne Jun 13, 2011

Loved this book. I used this novel for an english essay and it was very easy to find strong themes and quotes.

heatherlynn Jun 23, 2008

Main Characters:

Change in Kabul from Soviet occupation to post-taliban.

Quotes

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b
becker
Sep 21, 2012

“A society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated...”
― Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

r
re_discover
Jul 07, 2011

"One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls."

r
re_discover
Jul 07, 2011

"Like a compass needle that points north, a man's accusing finger always finds a woman. Always."

r
re_discover
Jul 07, 2011

"Women like us. We endure. It's all we have."

Age Suitability

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Nilufar1998 Nov 19, 2013

Nilufar1998 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

k
Keep_On_Rockin
Dec 19, 2010

Keep_On_Rockin thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

y
youareahunter
Dec 22, 2009

youareahunter thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Notices

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k
Keep_On_Rockin
Dec 19, 2010

Violence: This title contains Violence.

y
youareahunter
Dec 22, 2009

Violence: Violence & Mature Themes

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