Book Review: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns

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.

 

I’m not even sure where or how to begin with this one. It’s not uncommon for me to lose a whole day or a weekend to a book, to devour it as quickly as possible because it’s too good to put down, to get lost in a world or a time inside those pages that I wouldn’t know otherwise.  This book was my Saturday.

I’ve seen a lot of people say that they didn’t like this book because it was depressing.  The book is heavy in its content, it’s not a “beach read” or whatever other term you want to use to label an easier, lighter read. Is it depressing? No. Heavy? Yes. Serious? Yes.  Labels like ‘depressing’ indicate more about the reader’s goal than the actual context of the book.  Some people like books to escape, to read happy thoughts and get to happy endings and tie that pretty little bow around things.  Some people like books to learn, to experience worlds and lives they wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to.  A Thousand Splendid Suns definitely falls into the latter category.

It’s a powerful book. I don’t say that often. It’s an amazing story of two women and their intertwining lives, from strangers to enemies to family.  It took me a little bit to move from Mariam and Laila. I can usually put down a book and move on to the next immediately.  This one stayed with me for a bit, the book hangover that is so often described.  Covering three decades and the true definition of love and family, this book wrenches at your heart time and time again.

Take the time. Lose yourself in the story. Thank me later.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

  1. Seriously excellent review! So glad that you enjoyed it!

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