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A Thousand Splendid Suns: A Novel

A Thousand Splendid Suns: A Novel

Written by Khaled Hosseini

Narrated by Atossa Leoni


A Thousand Splendid Suns: A Novel

Written by Khaled Hosseini

Narrated by Atossa Leoni

ratings:
4.5/5 (353 ratings)
Length:
6 hours
Released:
May 22, 2007
ISBN:
9780743567602
Format:
Audiobook

Description

AFTER MORE THAN TWO YEARS ON THE BESTSELLER LISTS, KHALED HOSSEINI RETURNS WITH A BEAUTIFUL, RIVETING, AND HAUNTING NOVEL OF ENORMOUS CONTEMPORARY RELEVANCE.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan's last thirty years -- from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding -- that puts the violence, fear, hope and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives -- the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness -- are inextricable from the history playing out around them.

Propelled by the same storytelling instinct that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once a remarkable chronicle of three decades of Afghan history and a deeply moving account of family and friendship. It is a striking, heart-wrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love -- a stunning accomplishment.
Released:
May 22, 2007
ISBN:
9780743567602
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Khaled Hosseini is one of the most widely read and beloved authors. His novels The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns and And the Mountains Echoed have sold over 55 million copies all over the world. Hosseini is a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the founder of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation which provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan. He was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and lives in northern California

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What people think about A Thousand Splendid Suns

4.4
353 ratings / 400 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    A dramatic story about the lives of two women in Afghanistan. This was the kind of story that made an impression on my mind and will stay with me for some time. The story follows two women, whose lives connect, through the various ruling changes in their country. It shows their lives during the Soviet invasion, the civil wars following the departure of the Russians, and finally the rule of the Taliban. It is amazing to see the horror the people of this country has had to live through. The story puts a human face on the terrible wars that we read about in the news but often do not give a second thought to. As someone who teaches high school history, this is the kind of book I would want my students to read so they can understand that there are families and children just like us that live over there, and that war is almost always bad for all involved.
  • (5/5)
    What an amazing novel and so difficult to pin down my thoughts in a short review. Words such as "liked" "enjoyed" are not fitting words to describe this reading experience. "Spellbinding" and "eye-opening" would seem more appropriate. Set against the backdrop of 30 years of turbulent Afghanistan history (from the early 1970's to the early 2000's), Hosseini vividly portrays those years of unrest, war, oppression and terror through the voices of Mariam and Laila. Every single character experience death and loss of so me kind. One would think that this would make for a very depressing read, and yet, Hosseini manages to intermingle all that is terrible and ugly with a shimmer of love and a ray beam of light. For me, this book is as important for its history lesson as it is in providing a vivid portrayal of Afghan life and terrible oppression of women in Afghan culture. The pain and suffering portrayed is palpable... I lost count of the number of times I found myself flinching along side the characters, and crying with them. Hosseini is truly a gifted storyteller, grabbing the reader's attention with clear, unfussy language. He dazzles the reader with his story, not the words used to convey the story. Through this straightforward presentation, Hossieni provides readers with a fascinating glimpse of daily life in Afghanistan of the time period. Another well written, thought provoking read for me.
  • (4/5)
    I couldn't help but notice that Goodreads doesn't categorize this book as historical fiction, which is clearly is, covering life in Afghanistan before the Soviet invasion all the way to the point where America is already losing ground to the Taliban. The story centers on two key women whose lives come together in indelible ways. The early part of the book was written so extremely simply that I felt I was reading something that might have been appropriate to me as a sixth grader. As the characters lives became more involved, so did the writing. Eventually, you have serious adult drama on your hands and serious writing. At a climatic point a key character makes a most significant gesture that affects all the main characters. In my view, at that point the book could have and should have ended. The final pages felt like window dressing to me, stating the obvious, trying to point to a happy ending. It's all the more ironic that the ending gives a much more positive indication of the future than it turns out the historical reality that actually follows. All in all, an epic story well worth reading.
  • (4/5)
    Beautifully written, poignant
  • (5/5)
    A wonderful engrossing narrative
  • (5/5)
    Strong female characters.
  • (5/5)
    I loved this book.
  • (3/5)
    A moving and heart-breaking tale of a group of people in Afghanistan, spanning multiple decades. It depicts the unjust treatment of women and brings attention to the day-to-day lives of Afghani people, whom for many are just the faceless population of a country we hear about in the media.I appreciate the efforts of Mr. Hosseini in helping to make the world aware of the plight of Afgahni people--particularly women--but I found his writing to be awkward and a bit over-rated. A quarter of the way into the book there is suddenly a whole new cast of characters that are introduced and the two main protagonists were rather cliched.
  • (5/5)
    I've looked forward to reading the novel which came on the heels of The Kite Runner for quite some time. Let me say this novel is amazing. Hosseini writes of Mariam and Laila, women of Afghanistan, who, due to their station in life, were bound to a life of horrific abuse. Although they could barely tolerate each other at the start they found that together they had a power they didn't know was possible. An emotionally charged read and highly recommended.
  • (5/5)
    Just a beautiful book.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this sad tale of two Afghani women living in Kabul. The story begins in 1975 and ends in the early 2000's and tells how these two women's lives become intertwined, the events that lead them together, and how they come to love each other as mother and daughter. I learned about what was going on from the people of Afghanistan's point of view during that time, and found it very interesting. It was sad, but I would recommend it!
  • (4/5)
    An engaging read - I actually cared about Marian and Laila and the story was emotional without being sentimental.
    Set against the troubles of Afghanistan in general and Kabul in particular this story offers an interesting insight into what some peoples lives may have been like.
  • (4/5)
    Two women growing up in war-torn Afghanistan. Well written and gives the reader a very different prospective of life in this country.
  • (5/5)
    Amazing! Simply amazing
  • (5/5)
    What a great story.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent story
  • (5/5)
    Soooo Gooooood !
  • (5/5)
    Another K Hosseini storiy to pull one in. Reading the current news of young women's lives (12-16) ending violently by those in their own culture is similarly portrayed here in this story. The trappings of power, influence, sex roles, cultures rules, tradition, survival sad. This tale gives two womens stories and how they overlap. Surrendering along with empowerment. Humans interdependence and consequence with an unknown future.
  • (5/5)
    Hosseini's second novel of Afghanistan tells the story of two women: Mariam and Laila, beginning with their very different childhoods in disparate parts of the country, and weaving their stories together with expertise. It is a book that probes the unfair way that women are treated by society, by men, by women. Often shocking and raw, the book makes the statement that things need to change, that women need to band together against those who would have them downtrodden. I liked the book very much, and its message even more. It was an excellent story that kept me reading for hours, and I look forward to Hosseini's next book, waiting for me on my bookshelves.
  • (4/5)
    This book follows the lives of two women, Maryam and Laila, in Afghanistan from the 1950s through the present. Maryam is the older of the two, whose mother never lets her forget that she is harami, born out of wedlock. She had been a maid in Maryam's father house when she got pregnant and he chose not to marry her. He has three other wives, and many other children, but he makes a point to visit Maryam once a week. She idolizes her father completely. That is, until her mother dies when she is 15 and he marries Maryam off to a stranger in Kabul. Rasheed. He is abusive and just generally terrible. Laila, on the other hand is born in Kabul. Her father is a former school teacher and her mother, once quite vibrant, is perpetually in mourning for her two sons who have been fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan since Laila was a very small child. When her parents die, she is taken in by Maryam, now in her 30s. Rasheed then decides to marry the 14-year-old Laila. After some initial conflict between the two women, they eventually become friends and try their best to protect each other from Rasheed.Hosseini not only tells the story of Laila and Maryam, he also tells the story of Afghanistan. Over the course of the book the country goes from a monarchy to Soviet rule to leadership under various warring factions to rule propped up by America and the West. I was so invested in these characters that I finished the book in just three days. I couldn't put it down. Laila and Maryam go through a great deal of hardships, making it true what Maryam's mother told her--that is a woman's lot in life to endure. These women certainly endured quite a lot. Despite that, the story does not end on a down note. I would gladly recommend this book to anyone.
  • (4/5)
    I did not finish. Remember being interested in the story to about half way. Then I got interrupted and never returned to the book. I wish I had.
  • (5/5)
    I was slowly stunned at the overwhelming tragedy two women, like their beloved Kabul, Afghanistan, had to suffer, sacrifice, and endure at the hand of intimate patriarchal violence from their own husband(s) and/or cultural heritage to the Soviet invasion and the presence of the Taliban.

    Their inner lives are a testament to the private wars they must face, from being privately masked in their burqas that they are coerced to wear, to the basic human rights they are so defiantly denied.

    But it is also a testament to their own form of empowerment as women, their generous ability for compassion, their fierce and tenacious strength to love, and their own power in self-sacrifice and self-preservation.

    These are resilient characters who in the very act of fear must summon fearlessness to proclaim and help rebuild not only a new Afghanistan, but themselves.

    A tender and heart-wrenching novel.
  • (5/5)
    A powerful novel
  • (5/5)
    A Must Read!
  • (5/5)
    Such a heartfelt and moving book, definitely worth a read.
    Eye-opening about women's lives in modern day Afghanistan!
  • (4/5)
    Mariam's childhood is innocent of the reasons she and her mother live in seclusion. As time passes and she begins to understand the reality of her life, she is emotionally crushed and struggles to make sense of things. When her husband takes another wife, Laila, they begin as enemies, but grow to love and sacrifice for Laila's son. A beautiful bond grows amid bombings, shootings and daily hostilities.
  • (5/5)
    Brilliant. Loved it!
  • (5/5)
    Beyond words.......wonderful,
  • (4/5)
    A captivating novel...
  • (5/5)
    Absolutely brilliant.