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.
©2007 TKR Publications, LLC. All rights reserved; (P)2007 Simon and Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.
"Another searing epic....[Hosseini's] 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)
"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." (Booklist)
I defy any western woman to read this book and come away without being moved by how privilaged our lives are. This book is an argument against cultural tolerance, if by cultural tolerance we mean condoning the torture and enslavement of an entire gender based upon religious beliefs. The courage and love in this tale will break your heart. It is a testament to how the human spirit can survive and even thrive in the worst of circumstances.
I chose this book as a lesson in culture and wan't dissappointed. This is not main street America. Characters are wonderful. I found myself screaming at them, crying for them, loving with them.
It was a fairy tale ending of sorts, but I still did not want it to end. Truly, this book was a treasure to find.
Being a Soldier deploying to Afghanistan, I was surprised at the cultural awareness this book enlightened me with. Not only a great plot, but also gives you some insight into the daily lives of Afghans that few will otherwise discover. I found myself sitting in my car listening to the book even after I had arrived at my destination!
Tell us about yourself!
Another spectacular book from Khaled Hosseini. Where the Kite Runner focused on a friendship between males this is from a female perspective. This book incorporates a great story with real events in Afghanistan history. I'm so happy I listened to the book rather than read it. Khaled Hosseini authentic narration made me feel like I was revisiting a familiar area of the world. It also helped me fully understand the struggle women have at that time (and still today).
We are introduced to two women whose lives eventually cross and entangle in a very intimate way. The narration is masterful, as the author (while invisable) leaves the reader in suspense. Just when one thinks the plot is figured out, there is a shift (it is an earned shift with all the clues there when one goes back and considers the events). My favorite line "A man's accusing finger always finds a woman." It is a woman's novel dealing with women's issues. Perfect for teaching in a women's lit. class. The best book I've read in a very long time.
Say something about yourself!
I struggle with reviewing these books but this one I would like to submit my opinion. It is disturbing on so many levels and my mind wonders back to it even though I read it in February.
The characters are oppressed and if one thinks they are one directional I would challenge anyone to live through that and not be. It speaks to the human spirit and the ability to suffer anything and still cling to hope.
Be prepared for physical and emotional subjucation of women; daily violence and the result of absolute power; in small and large arenas.
Very good read; I understand it is fiction and would like to know how much of it is true.
In comparison to Hosseini's "The Kite Runner" which has an incredible emotional richness, this book was a bit dry and one-directional; the characters were described in daily chores and less by their unspoken thoughts.
Be prepared for the prevailing theme of physical and emotional suffering of women living in the world where war, violence, and men rule with iron fists.
How much more do I appreciate my life, education, and equality.
Absolutely loved this book. It has everything; great characters, wonderfully descriptive writing, and an interesting and unpredictable plot. It was a fascinating glimpse into the Afghan culture and the narrator was excellent. Hated for it to end.
This is a great book, not only for it's entertainment value, but also for it's realistic and historical look at life in Afghanistan over the past few decades.
Because this book was in different "parts" (4, to be exact), the first couple of parts did not do much to tell me how they connected, but parts 3 and 4 wrap it all up together, and it comes together and concludes nicely!
This book was pretty "calm" when it related to the husband/wife relationship in Afghanistan. It was often much worse than that, but this book did not go into great detail about the misery of women in Afghanistan during the Taliban era. (A great book to read is "The Sultan's Daughters", which goes into great detail about the life of women in Saudi Arabia, and does a better job at portraying the hypocrisy of Muslim men in these strictly Islamic countries.)
All in all, “A Thousand Splendid Suns” audio book was a very well written book and read very skillfully. It kept my attention clear through the 11+ hours it took to finish it. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in Mid-Eastern culture.
"Hard to get into but hugely rewarding"
Boy do you grow to care for the central characters, and for Afghanistan. The pronunciation of names will live on long in my memory.
The graphic description of Sharia law (as implemented by the Taliban) and its impact on women is so educational.
I feel hugely emotionally and factually enriched by this book.
"A thousand splendid suns"
This book has been a gripping read from start to finish.It makes a pleasant change to have a book that says it as it is.
finished in two days. incredible. Wonderful insight into Afghanistans history and how things have transpired. Beautiful characters
"Best book Ive read in 10 years!"
Thoroughly good story, embedded with culture. Had to turn speed down slightely to appreciate fully, but read brilliantly.
My second Audible book - and LOVED it. Have already downloaded The Kite Runner! :)
It makes you think about different cultures and events.
A very special book, full of emotions.
I've been an avid reader for as far back as I can remember and this is my standout favourite book. There's nothing more to say.
"Poor reading skills"
The reader paused slightly every few words, which disturbed the flow of the story. She also read at the same pitch of voice and at the same speed all the time, using no expression.
I do hope you get someone else to read this and use a better version instead of this one. The story is well worth listening to, but the reader was really irritatingly bad.
Amazing story which takes you into the lives of two Muslim women with a background of real historical events in Afghanistan. You can feel the culture of the society, both the positive and negative aspects.
I have no comparison.
Her voice was perfect for the book - and the accent helped to set the scene and make the text more authentic.
Just read it - it will open your world.
I have read "the kite runner" and loved it so I decided to try this one and it is excellent. I truly believe thta Khaled Hosseini is one of the best writers of our century. I definitely recommend it to anyone
"Thought provoking, Heartbreaking"
A story, primarily of one womans life from childhood. The heartbreak and hardships she endured, the friendships formed. A story that kept me hooked and praying for a happy ending. I found the narration difficult to listen to at times, with pauses in the wrong places and at times she sounded like a computer generated voice ! However I got used to it and overall loved this story.
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