A Thousand Splendid Suns

January 6, 2009
By Hannah Redman, Columbus, MT

A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini is a story of two womans lives in Afghanistan during the beginnings of the Soviet Union to April 2003. The first of the women is Mariam. She lived alone with her mother outside of the city of Herat. She lives apart from her father because she is an illegitimate child and her family is ashamed of her. But her father visits her once a week. Mariam decides she wants to see her father at his home so she walks to heart but her father will not see her. Feeling rejected my her father, Jalil, she returns home to find her mother's hung body. She lives with Jalil for a short time before her father arranges marriage to Rasheed, a shoemaker in Kabul over four hundred miles away. There a countless number of terrible things happen to her. She is barren and her husband is very abusive towards her.

The second character is Laila. She has lived in Herat all of her life. Her older brothers have both died in war, and as a result she has an absent, grief stricken mother. Her father was very loving and was always encouraging. Her childhood friend, Tariq is very important to her. But her world comes crashing down when her friends and everyone she knows has either moved away or died as a result of war. Tariq and his family, leave the country and her family decides to leave seventeen days later. But while they are packing a rocket hits their house while her father and mother are inside. She is saved form a pile or rubble by Rasheed. She learns she is pregnant with Tariq's baby and has no other choice but to marry Rasheed when she is asked. Over the years Mariam and Laila grow to love each other as sisters. Together they face many hardships and Mariam eventually kills Rasheed. After Laila discovers Tariq is still alive she leaves Kabul with him and her two children and flees to Pakistan. But a year later return to Kabul to help rebuild the broken city.

I would recommend this book be placed in the high school library because it is about a series of violent wars and a very abusive relationship. This book was not challenging to read but when it talked about the different tribes and people groups and was hard to follow. I would not say that there were objectionable parts in this book, more harsh reality of the suffering Afghanistan's people. This book opens the mind to something we are not accustom to. It forces us to think about a life and cultures other then our own. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a shocking, sad story of woman's life in a culture far from what we can understand.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Nov. 28 2009 at 9:29 am
Diabetic_Wonder GOLD, Michigan Center, Michigan
14 articles 11 photos 25 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is better than your dreams" ---- Dr. Seuss

there are not enough words in the world to descibe how awesome this book it. even though there are so grusome an unpleasant parts to read, it is phenomonal! Khaled Hosseini, does a wonderful job of writng the story of Mariam and Laila. It is a book i would recommend to every person who likes to read.


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