Monday, April 19, 2010

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Published: 2007
Pages: 420
Genre: Historical fiction

Close to a generation apart, Laila and Mariam live in Afghanistan, a nation struggling with war. They're both forced to marry Rasheed, a controlling and abusive husband who is several decades older than them. We follow both these women as they attempt to fight for their rights, protect their families, and survive in this dangerous and unfair time in history.
After reading The Kite Runner by the same author and thoroughly enjoying it, reading this book was a natural thing to do. They aren't part of a series, but the way Hosseini writes is so smooth, lyrical, and very descriptive. I couldn't resist reading his newest book, and that's obviously what I did.

This book is brutally honest. The horrors that Hosseini shows us are disturbing, revolting, shocking, and sadly true. The main focus of this book is how women in Afghanistan are abused, oppressed, ignored, and are treated like slaves for their "male guardians". While reading, I wanted to scream, throw this book against the wall, tear out the pages, and literally go to this country myself and try to talk some sense into these ignorant and arrogant men. The sheer unfairness that Hosseini displays is sickening. I can't stress enough how frustrated I was while reading A Thousand Splendid Suns! But I'm not criticizing the author. Rather, I'm congratulating him. It takes talent to make readers feel this way using only words, and Hosseini did this beautifully.

"Learn this now and learn it well, my daughter: Like a compass needle that points north, a man's accusing finger always finds a woman. Always. You remember that, Mariam."

To support the engrossing plot that Hosseini has created, some gorgeous language was used. Through his words, you could feel his passion and love for Afghanistan. The way he describes the mountains, the animals, the music, the food, the atmosphere, is so rich with culture that you forget you're reading a book. I truly got carried away with the imagery and floated off to Afghanistan to be with Laila and Mariam. What you experience while reading A Thousand Splendid Suns is real.

I honestly have nothing negative to say about this novel. This is yet another strong, emotional read from Khaled Hosseini that is sure to bring you close to tears.

Recommendation: I strongly recommend this to people who have read an enjoyed The Kite Runner. But if you haven't, I still recommend this to you! I think this is a book that everyone - man, woman, young, old - will fall in love with.


Anonymous said...

Emidy, my book club read this a couple of years ago and we had such a wonderful discussion about it. I still think about it to this day. A truly remarkable book!

Mrs. DeRaps said...

Both The Kite Runner and 1000 Splendid Suns broke my heart. I didn't feel like there were any easy answers or fixes to be had for the people of Afghanistan. I don't know that I could ever read them again, but I think that just about everyone should have to. Thanks for the review.

Dana said...

After rereading this book last month, I realized that it's probably one of my favorite books of all time, and your review perfectly sums up the reasons why I love it so much. Excellent review!

Emidy said...

Kay - I doubt I'll ever forget it! It's so great.

Mrs. DeRaps - I agree, both the books are so heartbreaking.

Dana - Thank you! It's probably one of my favourites now, also.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I need to read this... I havent read it or Kite Runner.Both have been on my shelf forever!

Sara said...

Aww this is a truly wonderful review Emidy! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. i definitely agree that everyone who reads it will fall in love with it :)

Shantal said...

What an amazing review. And I love the title of this book. I need to add this to my TBR list, thanks for the recommendation. :)

Juju at Tales of said...

I bet Mr. Whimsy would like this one.

Nymeth said...

You know, for some odd reason I was convinced this wouldn't be a book for me. You've definitely made me reconsider that!

Emidy said...

Sheila - You need to read these books! I enjoyed The Kite Runner a bit more, but I obviously really like A Thousand Splendid Suns, too.

Sara - Aw, thank you! It's so true.

Shantal - Thanks! Apparently the title is from a 17th century Persian poem.

Juju - Great! You should get him to read it, then.

Nymeth - You shouldn't pass this book up! It's probably something you'd like.

Anonymous said...

it's been a while since i read this, but i definitely agree that it is wonderful! i'm glad you enjoyed it.

Jennifer (Crazy-for-Books) said...

This is one of my all-time favorites. Just an incredible story. I recommend it to everyone. I loved it.

Aths said...

I HAVE to read this one and The Kite Runner! I'm not sure why I haven't got on them yet, but I will!