Book Review: A Thousand Splendid Suns

I know I’m late to the game on this one. About eight years late, in fact. But no new, trending novel has compelled me to write a review as strongly as this one has.

a thousand splendid suns

As I read Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns, one word kept repeating itself in my brain:

Perspective.

We all need it, and Hosseini knows how to supply it.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we’ve all prejudged something we know little about. It doesn’t necessarily make us bad people; it’s just inherent in human nature. Usually, it comes from a fear of the unknown.

That’s why I’ve recommended A Thousand Splendid Suns to everyone I’ve spoken to lately. Not only is the novel eloquently written, up-all-night suspenseful, and historically informative, it is, above all, eye opening.

The novel follows two Afghani women with very different lives – or so it seems. It spans thirty years in the war-torn country and leads us to the ultimate collision of the two women’s stories.

Hosseini, the Kabul-born author, flawlessly takes on the perspective of women in his home country. He expertly incorporates historical facts and information about the turbulent journey of the nation with the raw emotion of the women’s personal stories.

Although the main characters are fictional, it is obvious that Hosseini’s portrayal of the treatment of Afghani women throughout the years is ever-too real.

“Mariam remembered Nana saying once that each snowflake was a sigh heaved by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the world. That all the sighs drifted up the sky, gathered into clouds, then broke into tiny pieces that fell silently on the people below. As a reminder of how people like us suffer, she’d said. How quietly we endure all that falls upon us.” –Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

The details are jaw dropping and heart wrenching, from domestic abuse to atrocious medical care and everything in between.

The tumultuous relations between the U.S. and Afghanistan may have colored your perspective of the country’s inhabitants, but this novel will remind you that we all have something in common: we are all human.

A Thousand Splendid Suns reminds readers that regardless of our location or circumstances, three things remain strong: the resilience of the human spirit, the importance of hope, and the power of love.

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