I had read A Thousand Splendid Suns for school. I instantly fell in love. With school and other outside things going on, I found time to read. I only have read A Thousand Splendid Suns, and not the Kite Runner. I found this book difficult to put down, but not hard to understand. I would promote reading this book to everyone, just to get a little taste of Afghanistan.
Mariam and Laila are two women in living Afghanistan going through what the Taliban were doing. Their lives were harsh, cruel, and unfair. It kind of makes me think how lucky I am to live in America. It was very hard to compare to things to myself considering I was born and raised in America. I believe me and other people who have read this book may feel like when life is bad here what is it like there? What is happening to all the women at this point in time? On some reviews people said that they now feel bad for basically blowing up Afghanistan. I won’t go that far but it was difficult to try to figure out why a country would have so many limitations and get in so many wars. I will always wonder if the people in Afghanistan know the freedom we have here in America.
In this book it also explains the huge discrimination between males and females. There was a point in the book where it tells all the laws that the Taliban had set. The women were not allowed outside; if they painted their nails they would lose a finger; and most importantly under any circumstance you are not allowed to show your face. I usually am not thankful for sitting here staring at the computer. After I read this book I am very thankful for just about everything I ever get or have. I am proud to be an American and advise you to read this book no matter who you are.
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LauraAdams, October 1, 2008 (view all comments by LauraAdams)
Another wonderfully moving book by Hosseini. He is such a gifted writer. From page one you are invested in the characters and must know what becomes of them. Excellant book and author!
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Gatlianne, July 31, 2008 (view all comments by Gatlianne)
I found it to be a heartbreaking book - an eye opening book as well. The fact that the book is set in recent years made it more heartbreaking as well as realistic. It was hard for me to read the parts where Rasheed abused the women. It angered me greatly.
I think the book was quite stark and harsh - yet honest. I'm glad I read it. We, here in the US, know nothing of the sort of things portrayed in the book and it was hard to put myself in that place. It also made me think of my freedom and how there is no one to control me, no one to tell me I must cover myself in a burqua. I find it unimaginable to have to live that way.
I didn't close the book with a "feel-good" air. I closed the book and sighed. I think many would benefit from reading the book - it lets you know that there is very much more to this world than yourself and that you should count your blessings every day. It also lets you know that your life can change in an instant and that the world you think you should have isn't necessarily the world you'll get.
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Never mind the sophomore slump — this book devours that cliché. As well as illuminating the rich history and familial culture behind war-torn Afghanistan, A Thousand Splendid Suns is filled with authentic relationships and characters that are absolutely haunting.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Afghan-American novelist Hosseini follows up his bestselling The Kite Runner with another searing epic of Afghanistan in turmoil. The story covers three decades of anti-Soviet jihad, civil war and Taliban tyranny through the lives of two women. Mariam is the scorned illegitimate daughter of a wealthy businessman, forced at age 15 into marrying the 40-year-old Rasheed, who grows increasingly brutal as she fails to produce a child. Eighteen later, Rasheed takes another wife, 14-year-old Laila, a smart and spirited girl whose only other options, after her parents are killed by rocket fire, are prostitution or starvation. Against a backdrop of unending war, Mariam and Laila become allies in an asymmetrical battle with Rasheed, whose violent misogyny — 'There was no cursing, no screaming, no pleading, no surprised yelps, only the systematic business of beating and being beaten' — is endorsed by custom and law. Hosseini gives a forceful but nuanced portrait of a patriarchal despotism where women are agonizingly dependent on fathers, husbands and especially sons, the bearing of male children being their sole path to social status. His tale is a powerful, harrowing depiction of Afghanistan, but also a lyrical evocation of the lives and enduring hopes of its resilient characters." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day"
by Yvonne Zipp, Christian Science Monitor,
"If A Thousand Splendid Suns is a little shaky as a work of literature, at least a reader feels that Hosseini has more at stake than where the book ends up on the bestseller list." (read the entire CSM review)
"Review A Day"
by Peter Martin, Esquire,
"It's not that emotionally hardened (or what could fairly be called 'regular') men won't like this book. They just won't want to....This would be as painful as it sounds if it weren't for Hosseini's incredible storytelling. As it is, you can't help but be invested in the lives of these characters..." (read the entire Esquire review)
by Booklist (Starred Review),
"Unimaginably tragic, Hosseini's magnificent second novel is a sad and beautiful testament to both Afghani suffering and strength. Readers who lost themselves in The Kite Runner will not want to miss this unforgettable follow up."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"Hosseini barrels through each grim development unflinchingly, seeking illumination. Another artistic triumph, and surefire bestseller, for this fearless writer."
by USA Today,
"[A] second novel as spectacular as Khaled Hosseini's mega-selling The Kite Runner, [that] could be the runaway hit of 2007....Hosseini tells this saddest of stories in achingly beautiful prose through stunningly heroic characters whose spirits somehow grasp the dimmest rays of hope."
by San Francisco Chronicle,
"Hosseini's bewitching narrative captures the intimate details of life in a world where it's a struggle to survive, skillfully inserting this human story into the larger backdrop of recent history."
by Los Angeles Times,
"What keep this novel vivid and compelling are Hosseini's eye for the textures of daily life and his ability to portray a full range of human emotions, from the smoldering rage of an abused wife to the early flutters of maternal love when a woman discovers she is carrying a baby."
by Entertainment Weekly,
"While Afghanistan has virtually disappeared from the headlines...A Thousand Splendid Suns offers all the crowd-pleasing appeal of his debut, with some star-crossed lovers thrown in for good measure. (Grade: B+)"
by Chicago Sun-Times,
"The violence is as graphic as you would expect in any book that details the atrocities of war....A Thousand Splendid Suns will tear at your heart and make you better understand the legacy of violence our soldiers are fighting against in Afghanistan."
by The Associated Press,
"[E]xceeds every expectation. This tough-to-put-down book leaves even a jaded reader crying, wincing and gasping at Laila and Mariam's agony — and triumphing at their fleeting happiness. If anything, Splendid Suns is more visceral and heart-wrenching than Kite Runner."
This heart-wrenching novel explores what it is like to be thrust into an unwanted marriage. Has Nailas fate been written in the stars? Or can she still make her own destiny?
Nailas conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Nailas vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif . . . if he can find her before its too late.
After 103 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and with four million copies of The Kite Runner shipped, Khaled Hosseini returns with a beautiful, riveting, and haunting novel that confirms his place as one of the most important literary writers today.
Propelled by the same superb instinct for storytelling that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once an incredible chronicle of thirty years of Afghan history and a deeply moving story of family, friendship, faith, and the salvation to be found in love.
Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them-in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul--they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman's love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival.
A stunning accomplishment, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a haunting, heartbreaking, compelling story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love.
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