Annalisa's Reviews > A Thousand Splendid Suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
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's review
Nov 21, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, issue, psychology
Read in December, 2007

I enjoyed this story almost as much as Kite Runner (the subject matter was not as heart-wrenching), but the writing style was definitely better in Kite Runner. Once again I am enamored by the portrayal of Afghanistan and saddened by the change in this once beautiful country. I think Hosseini does an amazing job of developing believable, relatable characters in an attempt to give us an overview of life there and what it feels like to be a woman, a second citizen always in fear of being targeted.

There is one turning point in the novel where I thought Hosseini would follow the same format as Kite Runner and he didn't. That totally got me. And I think that was the point. You're supposed to feel hope for these women and then have it squelched just as it is for them, just as it is for many women who suffer abuse. I really cared about them and wanted to fight for them. I enjoyed both the perspective of the beaten-down woman who folds inside herself and takes it as if she deserved it and the one who stands up for herself, fighting back even though it makes the violence stronger, because she can't accept the message that a fist decides her value. I wish Hosseini would have delved more into the effects of abuse on the children because we only get a glimpse of the daughter's pain, of her defense mechanisms to protect herself.

The ending, while not cheerful, is redemptive, giving each of these women a chance to define their lives. While it is sad, I thought it was also beautiful. Mariam who never felt good enough is given the opportunity to make her life meaningful. Are our lives worth something something because we live for ourselves or because we do something meaningful in history, even if it is self detrimental? She is just as strong or stronger than Laila whose spirit remarkably never breaks. These women had incredible strength and give us hope for the fight in the female spirit.
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Quotes Annalisa Liked

Khaled Hosseini
“A society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated...”
Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

Khaled Hosseini
“Behind every trial and sorrow that He makes us shoulder, God has a reason.”
Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

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