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A Thousand Splendid Suns Paperback – Nov 25 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Canada (Nov. 25 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747585893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143054405
  • ASIN: 0143054406
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on March 21 2007
Format: Hardcover
A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS tells the wonderful, intensely moving story of how two modern Afghan women overcome the great challenges that have faced women in Afghanistan and rise above their victimization. Khaled Hosseini has succeeded in capturing many important historical and contemporary themes in a way that will make your heart ache again and again. Why will your reaction be so strong? It's because you'll identify closely with the suffering of almost all the characters, a reaction that's very rare to a modern novel.

In Part One, you meet Miriam at age five as she learns that she is a harami (an illegitimate child). Miriam's wealthy father, Jalil, had seduced a housekeeper, Miriam's mother, Nana, six years earlier and now provides for both of them in a remote shack where he can keep a low profile. Despite his concern about his reputation, Jalil adores the attention that Miriam devotes to him. All proceeds in an artificial and harsh way until one day Miriam decides to demand her father's attention. The consequences shape her world for the rest of her life.

In Part Two, the story moves to focus on Laila, who was born to Miriam's acquaintance, Fariba, at the end of Part One. Laila's rearing is almost totally the opposite of Miriam's. Laila is loved by both her parents with whom she lives and has many chances to develop her knowledge and skills. Laila lives in Kabul while Miriam grew up in the countryside outside of Herat. Laila is beautiful while Miriam is plainer. They also grow up in different times: Miriam is old enough to be Laila's mother. Miriam never had a male friend while growing up, while Laila is fascinated by the one-legged Tariq. All is going well for Laila until the war intrudes to send her life off into an unexpected direction.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 12 2007
Format: Hardcover
When I picked up "A Thousand Splendid Suns," the much anticipated second novel by Khaled Hosseini, I had just devoured "The Kite Runner" in a single day but the day before. Still caught up in the thoughts and emotions engendered by that powerful and exquisite first novel I could imagine thousands of people holding this new book in their hands, wishing and hoping that Hosseini would do it again, but different and better. All things considered, following up on a successful first novel is probably harder than coming up with the original effort and Hosseini could have rested on his laurels in the manner of Harper Lee, but as "A Thousand Splendid Suns" amply proves, this native of Kabul has more stories to tell about the land of Afghanistan.

"A Thousand Splendid Suns" is the story of two women living in Afghanistan during the last three turbulent decades of that nation's history. In Part One we meet Mariam, the illegitimate daughter of Jalil, one of the wealthiest men in Herat and the owner of a cinema. Jalil has three wives and nine legitimate children, all of whom are strangers to Mariam, while Mariam lives with her mother in the "kolba" that Jalil and his sons built with sun-dried bricks and plastered with mud and straw. Laila is introduced in Part Two, the young daughter of the university educated Babi. Laila's mother is in mourning for the death of the two sons who joined the jihad against the Soviets and were killed. The paths of Mariam and Laila cross but once in these early parts before their lives become irrevocably linked in Part Three.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Can of peas on Oct. 27 2007
Format: Hardcover
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini reads like an epic, it traces the stories of two women brought together by destiny - Mariam, the illegitimate child of a rich man, is married off at fifteen to a much older man, and suffers a life of suppression and subjugation and made to feel worthless for not being able to produce an heir. Her life takes an interesting turn years later when a young 14-year-old girl, Laila is brought into her household and made wife number two. The two women forge a bond of sisterhood, united against their oppressor/husband. I will not give too much of the plot away, but suffice to say that not only do we get to read about these two character's amazing and heartbreaking journey through the cruel and oppressive male-dominated world they live in, but we also get a lesson in Afghanistan's history prior to and later during the Soviet Occupation in the 1980s to the Taliban rule where women are reduced to the ranks of chattel ,and deemed mere breeding mares and servants of men. This is a searing portrait of the plight of women in Afghanistan, and not only does it give voice to the victims of male oppression and harsh cultural traditions, but it stands as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit with its unwavering hope. Would also recommend the novel DELANO for another great read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Houston on July 20 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Kite Runner was for me an amazing read. I was fascinated by the story and the characters, and moved by it, absolutely. THIS novel, although I enjoyed it as well, didn't reach within me so much, even though it was about women not men, and I am a woman. Although I still thought it was a great story, I didn't bond with the characters as much as those in the Kite Runner. Something was missing. Perhaps the author being a male,is better able to convey the feelings and emotions of his male characters in his first book in a more believable way, than those of the women in "Suns"
That is not to say it wasn't a great and worthwhile read, and I would recommend it highly to get an insight into the life of Afghani women. I finished feeling very grateful to have been born when, where and who I was...
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