A Thousand Splendid Suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns

eBook - 2008
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After more than two years on the bestseller lists and over four million copies in print, Khaled Hosseini returns with a beautiful, riveting, and haunting novel of enormous contemporary relevance. A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan's last thirty years-from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding-that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives-the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness-are inextricable from the history playing out around them. Propelled by the same storytelling instinct that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once a remarkable chronicle of three decades of Afghan history and a deeply moving account of family and friendship. It is a striking, heart-wrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love-a stunning accomplishment.
Publisher: 2008
ISBN: 9780143180654
Characteristics: 1 online resource
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m
maryebarr
Jul 30, 2020

The end of this book had me in tears. It is a beautifully written novel of two women in Afghanistan from the 1970's through the early 2000's. This book transported me to a place that I knew little about and covered history that is in my own lifetime. I'll always think differently of Afghanistan after reading this book.

A satisfying read. I was surprised to learn that it was written by a man.

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IshaanGupta30
Jul 24, 2020

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a story about two women, Mariam and Laila, who are married to the same man, Rasheed. The story is a cross between the generations of Rasheed, Mariam and Laila with Mariam being about 20 years older than Laila and Rasheed being about 30 years older than Mariam and 50 years older than Laila. The two wives are subject to physical torture by Rasheed and over time, they become friends and try to solve their problems.
A Thousand Splendid Suns highlights the struggles of Aghan women and their culture. It specifically focuses on women who are married and unmarried from an unbiased perspective. The novel is filled with strong and powerful emotions along with a simulating plot, making it one of my favorite books. One of the main messages of the story is that even when life seems to be unfair and unkind, love and compassion can do miracles.

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mJJLnk7
Jun 24, 2020

From an Afghanistan war veteran: "Kite Runner" was Dickensian (like Charles Dickens) in the worst way (social novel). "Splendid Suns" more than makes up for it: after all, it's a Dickensian picaresque novel, and a near-perfect one at that. A beautiful read.

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cjhf97
Mar 08, 2020

Same author as Kite Flyer.

s
SalThePal
Dec 22, 2019

This is so beautifully written. It made me cry and cry. This book is amazing

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kathylock
Dec 14, 2019

A very nice balance of events happening during these hard times and the lives of 2 women. I lot of writers would have turned this into an epic novel. Thank you for writing it so succinctly to get the beautiful story communicated.

k
kmcdouall
Aug 15, 2019

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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aleahwinston
Jun 06, 2019

If you loved The Kite Runner, you will love this book too. In my opinion it is almost like the female version of The Kite Runner. Excellent read. Highly recommend.

e
Eil_1
Dec 21, 2018

In reviewing past-read books, I realized that for some reason or another, I had not rated or commented on this book. It was a powerful and mesmerizing story of Afghanistan. One can feel the pain of the young girl who is torn from her family and is forced to marry a cruel, old man. When he throws the burka at her and informs her that she is to wear it, she realizes that her life as she knew it, is over. Her later friendship with a neighboring woman gives her some relief from her daily hardships. Together, they work to find a way to exit their miserable existences. It is one of my all-time favorite books - it might become yours as well.

IndyPL_MikeH Dec 18, 2018

As the cliche goes, "torn from the pages of today's headlines".

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Quotes

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d
devreads
Jul 20, 2019

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

d
devreads
Jul 20, 2019

"But time is the most unforgiving of fires..."

f
firebird770
Aug 06, 2018

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

Poem written by Saeb-e-Tabrizi, a seventeenth - century Persian poet.

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."

Summary

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A Thousand Splendid Suns is about the journeys of two individual women, Mariam and Laila, who both had difficult lives that were worsened by the violence and turmoil from the Civil War in Afghanistan. Mariam was forced into an arranged marriage to an older man, Rasheed, who became increasingly violent and abusive when Mariam was unable to conceive. Meanwhile, Mariam and Rasheed’s next-door neighbor Laila lost both of her parents when her house was hit by a stray rocket from the war. Rasheed and Mariam took Laila in, and after a while, Rasheed married Laila. Because of this, Mariam and Laila’s relationship was strained at first and they avoided each other in the house. However, as Rasheed continued beating both Mariam and Laila, the two of them began to bond. A memorable moment showing this was when Laila jumped in to protect Mariam from getting beaten up by Rasheed. As the book continued, Mariam and Laila grew closer and closer; they bonded over their shared hopes to run away from Rasheed, and were often comforted by each other as they preserved and endured through all the sufferings they faced together. My favorite part of A Thousand Splendid Suns is when Mariam and Laila shared a cup of tea together for the first time. It was a powerful turning point of the book because it signified the beginning to Mariam and Laila’s friendship, which would grow even closer throughout the rest of the book. -Jocelyn

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.

Age Suitability

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IshaanGupta30
Jul 24, 2020

IshaanGupta30 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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kelseymacc
Feb 12, 2019

kelseymacc thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Nilufar1998 Nov 19, 2013

Nilufar1998 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Keep_On_Rockin
Dec 19, 2010

Keep_On_Rockin thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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youareahunter
Dec 22, 2009

youareahunter thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Notices

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Keep_On_Rockin
Dec 19, 2010

Violence: This title contains Violence.

y
youareahunter
Dec 22, 2009

Violence: Violence & Mature Themes

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