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.
"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.
"excellent . Sad, thought provoking, intriguing"
I found this a compelling book and would highly recommend it. I shed a few tears in places.
Read this book some years ago and could not put it down. Changed my thinking about Western involvement in Afghanistan and gave me a thirst for knowledge about this beautiful yet broken country. Passages that haunted me when reading were equally as powerful listening to the narrator.
"One dimensional and lacking insight"
At first I thought the narration was charming. After a while I noticed that she pauses in completely wrong places like someone reading a foreign language or a child learning to read. As I progressed, the narration grated more and more and interfered with listening.
There is no country on Earth I feel more sympathy for than Afghanistan which has suffered decades of torment from cynical manipulators and international bullies. And no-one in Afghanistan deserves more sympathy than its women whose treatment is beyond endurance. This novel follows the lives of two women through the last half century.
I expected it to be fascinating. In the end it was slightly disappointing despite a promising first section. The story is well crafted. As a catalogue of abuse and suffering, and the love and humanity that endures it, it evoked my sympathy and outrage. But the characters were one dimensional, if not formulaic and, it didn't offer any real insight into the political events which wrecked their lives.
Sympathetic as I am to the horror, this is a 3 star novel held down by the narration.
If you are interested in the subject and don't mind reading about a different country, I recommend The Spider's House by Paul Bowles (nicely done on audible), about life in Morocco under French rule. It was so insightful, I felt I reached an understanding of the moslem people, their religion and their customs. Reading it permanently changed the way I think of them.
"Heartfelt moving story"
Narrator was brilliant, great story, eye opening. Definately recommend.
Hope you enjoy as much as i did, have the tissues near by x
"Made a big man cry."
You will live the lives of strong, vulnerable women true lionesses of Afghanistan. I hope they make a film of this soon.
Yes. Makes me realise how lucky we are in the Western world.
It was the realisation that no matter what I thought of the Afghan way before, my vision gave little credence to what it is actually like.
All the women named.
Made me feel very inadequate in my knowledge of Middle Eastern and Islamic ways especially having also read The Kite Runner by the same author.
A book that should be in every school and library
"Beautiful and Inspiring"
The readers voice is brilliant, she interprets the story well with her accents and tone.
I love how it teaches of real life struggles within Afgahnistan
"A wonderful story but tedious narrator"
Yes I like Khaled Hosseini but my enjoyment of the story was spoiled by the monotonous way Atossa Leoni read the story.
Tariq. A kind selfless man
Utterly tedious and really spoiled the story. Admittedly her pronunciation was excellent but her reading of English was stilted and monotonous. She sounded like a computerised voice. Meaning was lost when she failed to read sentences with the correct punctuation and intonation. Rather like somebody picking up the book for the first time without reading the chapters first. This meant that I found it very difficult to sympathise with the characters who all sounded the same.
I would not listen to another book narrated by Atossa Leoni but would happily read another book by Khaled Hosseini.
The story was beautiful and beautifully written. Touching and educative.
The childhood......it is the same all over the world.
The reader was just reading, using pauses where they didn't belong etc.
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