A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

I’ve been wanting to read Kite Runner by the same author, but when this book landed on my hands, by luck, I was only too glad. I think the Kite Runner will follow soon, seeing my mind’s appreciative responses to this book. πŸ™‚

Read the story’s brief here… [link]

For one thing, this book is damn good – fantastically interlaced history and fiction and My God, brilliantly written. My kudos to the author for bringing out such a wonderful book. πŸ™‚

What fantastically strong woman characters, the author has created. Β With all the difficulties and troubles they faced in the war-filled Kabul, how much they endure. Β What is it that keeps them going, even when they have an abusing husband and absolutely no freedom to do anything ???

Mariam and Laila, take me by storm with the power to make me laugh, smile, cry, all at the same time perhaps !!!

I am saddened at the injustice to Mariam and her childhood years, but those lovely moments with her father, make me smile.

It upset me terribly to see her getting married to Rasheed, a man who is way older than her. And Mariam is only 15 yrs old.

When he forces himself on her, I cried….OMG, what kind of creature is he !!!!

Mariam lost her baby, not once, so many times, that I cried more than her !!!

How marriage changes a person, especially a woman ??? The words Mariam’s mother speaks to her, hurts her when she was young. But when she is married, she understands and goes through all that her mother told was the truth, like these :

“Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman.”

“There is only one skill a woman like you and me needs in life and they don’t teach it in school – And its this – Endure”

Laila is a happy go girl, totally in love with Tariq, till the fateful day, when the war swallows her parents, her brothers and Tariq too, she fears.

How the war transforms this girl and her dreams – its saddening.

The fight of the Mujaihideen against the Soviets, the entry of Taliban into Kabul are all so much interlinked into this story and the effects of this invasion on the lives of these characters.

The place which shattered me was when Laila undergoes C-Section, without any anesthesia !!!! OMG !!! Just can’t imagine such a thing to happen to any woman. It shows how war affects the livelihood of the people, not only in Afghanistan, anywhere in the world. Β The sad state of medical supplies, the no importance to women’s hospital requirements by Taliban, is all so gruesome.

When I read the rules issued by the Taliban to the men and women separately, I was angered at the injustice of all.

Women can’t go out without being accompanied by a male relative.

Women cannot show their face.

Cosmetics, jewelry, charming clothes, laughing, painting nails, attending school, going for work are all forbidden.

Women cannot make eye contact with men.

If found guilty, will be severely beaten. If found to have done adultery, the women will be stoned to death.

I was horrified after reading this.

But I liked the ending Β – it was fab !!! Β People left Kabul during difficult times, but after the war was over, I appreciate their decision to go back to Kabul. Β It’s so courageous of them to work and better the conditions of their country, in whatever way they can.

Amazing storyline…not a moment of boring dialogues…fantastic narration…a must read recommendation from me. πŸ™‚

The title of the book refers to a phrase from the poem “Kabul”, by the 17th-century Persian poetΒ Saib-e-Tabrizi.

One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs
And the
thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls


55 Replies to “A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini”

    1. Oh I just luv his writing. This one made me cry @ every step and I ws sooo happy when Rasheed died πŸ˜›
      Kite Runner is a beautifullll book. Both of them r gud, but somehw I liked Kite Runner even more πŸ™‚


      1. FIRST again. πŸ™‚

        Now, thats my next job – to get Kite Runner in my hands… πŸ™‚ Will read it soon. πŸ™‚

        So true…I was immensely happy abt Rasheed’s death – that meant freedom to the women – but not both….


  1. I love his writing too! I remember reading the whole book while in Delhi airport waiting for a connecting flight , for 6 hours! It totally catches your attention!
    These kind of books with any sort of injustice anger me so much that The Dude forbids me from reading any of them these days! But the way the facts are brought about, you cannot but sypathise with the characters!


    1. Even I get worked up sometimes, reading abt the injustices happening…but over a period of time, I’ve learnt better. πŸ™‚

      Damn gud book, now its the turn of Kite Runner. πŸ™‚


  2. Like Nu said..I am also feeling like to pick the book rightaway πŸ™‚
    Just few mins back got parcel from infibeam for “Love life and all that jazz”..
    Off to read that now πŸ™‚


    1. Really ??? I just can’t be like that…any book I’ve with me, I would’ve read them all – even the ones I buy for my girls !!! πŸ™‚

      Thanks Chica. πŸ™‚ Try to read them…. πŸ™‚


  3. Ahaaa…a book review !!! How convenient ! πŸ˜€ and if its a book on women; he shouldve named it ‘ A thousand splendid daughters’, na ?

    oh..suns…ok ok, i get it ! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€


          1. ROFL @ Vimmuuu’s comment.
            @Uma: it’s convenient for him, since he does not have to read the book, but can act like he has read it, now that he knows what its about πŸ˜› and he meant to type “I dont have to break my head for reading and trying to understanding a book” πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€


          2. Vimmuuu, But I dont think that you break your head for any post – its always some incomprehensible or totally unrelated comment….from you… πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›


            1. LOL, yes, when its a WW or a book review, my comments are always unrelated !!! forgive me if you can, but I donno how to write, “nice pic, nice review, I should get this book now” πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€


  4. I love his writing too! It’s such a painful, strong story that grips your attention from the first till the last page. Kite Runner has a fabulous story line too, and one will definitely be moved by these books. These two books make you cry, laugh, and feel every moment of it, and of course changes the perception we hold towards this country and community!


  5. Uma- I am stuck half way through that book! I just could not take the sadness in Mariam’s life! But looks like I shd pick it up and keep reading! Loved your review! Hey and Please read Kite Runner- i think You will enjoy that too! πŸ™‚


    1. I also closed the book, to give me some 5 to 10 mins to come out of the miserable and sad situation, in which Mariam was living. Then went back to it again…someone told me that the ending is good and happy, so I really wanted to know abt it.

      Come on, Indy, you finish this…in the meanwhile I’ll get Kite runner…. πŸ™‚


  6. I read this book while I was preg with Buzz..and the tears I cried.. blame them all on hormones πŸ˜€

    Love the way he writes..love this book.. so very sad..but the hope in the end makes the future look so much better does it not ??


    1. Oh dear….I know that’ll be too much a sensitive time to read this book. Hugs to you.

      Exactly, thats what I liked…when the ppl from the war-wrecked country can go and build it back again, what are we doing here…there’s not much effort towards building a better country, from all sects of ppl !!!!


  7. I have read Kite runner and I can say that its one beautiful book πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ You should read it..

    I will read this one for sure.. have it in my shelves… Even Saritha akka told its good πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚


    1. So, you have it in the shelf and have not yet read it, huh ??? Howz that possible for you ??? I just have to read it, before I keep it in the shelf. πŸ˜‰

      Yeah, yeah, Saritha akka’s comment says it all… πŸ˜‰


  8. I love this book uma and i read it twice.I cried so much after reading this book and mariam was in my mind for a about a week after finishing the book.I loved this book more than kite runner.And i felt both the books are real life stories not friction,the author makes u glued to the book till the last page.

    Kite runner was also excellent.Both the books showed how a women was treated in taliban.Uma have to read Not Without My Daughter– Betty Mohammad,this book also makes u cry and shows how women are treated in Iran.


    1. So true Sari, even I get affected / inspired by the characters, that I always think abt them, dream abt them…allows me to foray into their thoughts and their world…

      I love women oriented subjects…the strong women…those who chase their dreams and make it happen….I just love them… πŸ™‚

      Keep the titles coming in…me waiting to read them all…but Kite Runner first !!! πŸ™‚


    1. With the amount of accolades to Kite Runner just on my blog page alone, Khaled can have a fan page !!! πŸ™‚

      Yes, Priya, I am going to get that book. πŸ™‚


  9. me read half of the book within landmark mumbai (they encourage their customers to read :P) and i cried within the store…and i was sooo embarassed trying to wipe off my tears and hide my sob in front of sooo many customers! πŸ˜›


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