by Khaled Hosseini
Published: May 22nd 2007
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, heartwrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love, a stunning accomplishment.
A Thousand Splendid Suns was one of my required books for a college class. I was dreading reading it because I did not think I would like it at all. I actually ended up enjoying this heartbreaking story. Khaled Hosseini did a fantastic job creating the two main characters. I developed such an attachment for them that it was hard to read the book at points.
The book also made me very aware of what Afghanistan and its people have gone through. I knew that the women who lived there were treated poorly, but I had no idea that they did have a certain amount of freedom at one point when the Soviets had control. It brought up the question... is it better to have and have lost, or never had at all?
I would highly recommend this book to all. It is very emotional and be prepared to cry a lot.