Book Review: A Thousand Splendid Suns


Khaled Hosseini confirms his brilliance once again as an outstanding novelist and literally as a spokesman of Afghanistan’s tumultuous and tragic history. To be honest, I was slightly worried that A Thousand Splendid Suns would be similar to his debut novel, The Kite Runner. However, I’m thrilled to confess that I’m glad to be proven wrong. Not only the tune and the narrative are distinctive, but the elected emotions I received from the book are completely in a whole different level. To discover a book that almost drove me to shade a tear is undoubtedly noteworthy, and deserves a respectable place in my bookshelf.

A Thousand Splendid Suns follows the lives of two Afghani women, Mariam and Laila, as they move from childhood to adulthood in a different gap of generation. The book spans 30 years, beginning with the Soviet invasion and ending with the overthrow of the Taliban. The novel wonderfully breathes life to the two characters through an exquisite language, unfailing insight, and outstanding literacy. Unlike the Kite Runner, the chapters are well divided, and the constant switch between Mariam and Laila’s narratives provides a dare challenge to not continue reading the novel due to the amount of “cliff-hangers” at the end of each chapter.

In terms of characters’ development, Hosseini maintains an emotional rollercoaster that eventually overlaps the premise of the story without arousing any uncertainty in where the story is going. The novel starts a bit slow but it eventually picks up when the life of two characters intertwines, and there, the script becomes interplay of tragedies and a testament of women’s willpower as well. At first, you might be tempted to draw a parallel in this novel with the Kite Runner especially in terms of characters, but my advice: don’t waste your time because the only similarity between this novel and the former is the setting and nothing else. My rationale of not giving the novel a perfect score is the predictability factor, but nevertheless, A Thousand Splendid Suns deserve to be read by anyone who can read really. It is definitely a worthy successor’s to Hosseini first novel and it resides as one of the best book of 2007.



6 responses to this post.

  1. “To discover a book that almost drove me to shade a tear is undoubtedly noteworthy”

    My eyes were raining tears 😛

    Your review is the best I’ve read for this book 🙂


  2. Isn’t it astonishing that he can maintain such excellence with two such totally different books? Totally different voices from The Kite Runner, and a totally different kind of emotional violence. Once again, a book whose images come back to haunt daily lives, a book that sticks with you. What’s next for you?


  3. Great review thanks for that!


  4. @True Faith

    Oh believe me, I would have cried like a baby but I’ve done my best to keep the waterwork from coming. I reminded myself of every funniest thought in my head when I was reading Mariam’s letter.

    Thanks…your words really made my day ^_^


    I know. I really admires his works and his sense of writing. When I become a novelist, I want to be like him.

    Currently, I’m reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostavo and Book II of His Dark Material: the Subtle Knife.


    Glad I can help and to encourage people to read this amazing book.


  5. I truly loved this book. Just noticed you reviewed it.. would you ever want to read it again?
    Tareq reminded me of you for some reason. I cannot remember why though.


  6. @Vixen

    And I just noticed your comment. Actually, there’s a good chance I’ll read it again before the movie version comes out, which is likely sooner or later.

    Thanks Vixen 🙂

    Tareq is a great character in the book and he is very tough and determinant despite what has happened to him. Although, I think I resemble Amir from the Kite Runner a little more than Tareq, but in a good way, not in a back-stabbing way 🙂


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