Kathleen Hagen's Reviews > A Thousand Splendid Suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
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Jan 13, 2009

bookshelves: 2007-audio-books, 2007-general-fiction

A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini. Narrated byAtossa Leoni, produced by Simon and Schuster Audio, and downloaded through audible.com.

In this narrative we learn about the lives of two women from different social classes. Mariam, who was born “out of wedlock” and was therefore considered in scorn by her own mother as well as her father and his family. When her mother died, her father married her off to the first man he could find, who was about 20 years older than she was. The man was stupid, abusive and mean. Then Laila entered the picture. She was younger and beautiful and raised in a middle class family, but her family was blown away in the bombing of Kabul. Because she believed the man she loved to be dead, she allowed for a marriage to be arranged with the same man and she became the second wife. At first, Mariam and Laila had little in common, but as time went on they learned to be allies. They raised Laila’s children together, kept themselves and the children out of the way of the violence of their husband until the violence escalated beyond control. In this book we see the tearing apart of Afghanistan, and particularly Kabul, and the increasingly limited and untenable situation for women in the country, especially after the Taliban came into power. This is a book spanning approximately 30 years of violence, terror and oppression. It is a book about the power of love and its consequences. I’ll remember this book for a long time and it will make my top ten list of books for the year.


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