Author: Khaled Hosseini
Publication date: May 22nd 2007
Age group: Adult
Genre: Historical fiction
Cover rating: 4/5
Overall rating: 5/5
Description via Goodreads:
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 the 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.
I really enjoyed every second of this book. I was wondering if Hosseini could manage to do better than The Kite Runner, and he really did, The Kite Runner was a wonderful book, but A Thousand Splendid Suns is in an entirely different league.
It follows the story of two Afghan women, and the hardships they are faced with in every aspect of their lives. The two women, Mariam and Laila experience very different childhoods.
Mariam is a harami, an illegitimate child. She sees her father once a week, and her mother is cold and bitter towards her most of the time. One day, Mariam runs off to find her father, and when she comes back the next day, her mother has committed suicide. Mariam is ''given'' to a man much older than her, who turns against her when she is unable to carry a child to full term.
Laila, on the other hand, comes from a much better off family, with very well educated parents. Her father has plans for her to go to university and get a proper job. However, both her parents are killed in a bombing, and Laila ends up marrying the same man Mariam is married too. Laila rushes into marrying this man for the mere fact that she is six weeks pregnant with her friend's child, and needs to hide it.
The story that follows is heartbreaking. It shows the life of two very strong women, who keep fighting against all the odds. Every page is interesting, and every event shocking. It very much deserves five stars.