A Thousand Splendid Suns By Khaled Husseini – A Review

In keeping with the rules of Thoughtful Thursdays, here is my review of “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Husseini.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is the story of Mariam and Laila. It is the story of Rasheed the husband they share and the children Aziza and Zalmai. The book is divided into four parts. The first is about Mariam, the second two about Laila and the last alternates between the two. While the overt story is one of relationships between the husband and his two wives and the children the actual story lies beneath simmering quietly to erupt every now and then. It is the story of Afghanistan and the various powers it reels under. Starting with the Soviet occupation, followed by a brief respite before the Taliban enforces its harsh rules against women the book mirrors the struggles of the women in the suffocating relationship they share and the sorrows that unite them.

As the writer talks of the Taliban rule, the demolition of the Bamiyan Buddhas or 9/11 my eyes teared up. Towards the end of the novel when Laila returns to Afghanistan to seek out and find closure for Mariam, I was openly sobbing.

A heartwarming novel. The language is simple and laced with references to the myriad Afghan dialects. The typeset is easy on the eye and the book itself makes for an easy read.

Highly recommended!!

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9 Comments

  1. Nice review Laksh. I had reviewed it a few months back. I will email you the link.

    Can’t wait to find out whats going to be the next book! I also wanted to make a suggestion – can we decide on the books for the next 3 months? just so that we can arrange to make a reservation in the library or make alternative arrangements. We could probably come up with a list or something and then have a poll.

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  2. @Suman: Thank you. Will wait to hear from you with the link. I second your suggestion. Will put up a post with a list of books and we can pick three for the next three months.

    @Anila: Review due Thursday next week (June 26th). Am responding late to this comment. I already have the link to your review.

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  3. I have just finished reading a Thousand splendid suns…It took me four days to read and I would have been quicker but for the many heart wrenching sequences! I too was reduced to tears many times….how those women survived so much cruelty.
    We western women dont appreciate what freedoms we enjoy. I have also read the Kite Runner.

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  4. I read this one for the first time last year. I’ve read it 5 times since! I think it had a lot to do with the fact that I was 16 when I read it and was shocked to know that while I’m going to school and looking forward to a career in the corporate world, there are girls as old as me or even younger in my country and neighbouring ones, who are being married off to men as old as my father and are subjected to so much atrocity.
    I’d love to be a part of thoughtful thursdays!

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