A truly heartbreaking tale, A Thousand Splendid Suns bears the terrible plight for many women in Afghanistan. In equal mastery to his first bestselling novel The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini once more immerses his readers in the world of his homeland. His deep knowledge of the country opens its customs and ways for all to see, as well as its violent history.
The political backdrop of the latter twentieth century is lent a new light in this novel, as Mariam and Laila, amongst millions of others, witness the tragic plight of Afghanistan during these years. The distant, factual atrocities known by many in the west are brought to life by Hosseini in terrifying ways, as the true horrors caused by the numerous wars Afghanistan has faced in modern history are displayed through the eyes of those living through them. But throughout the tragedies of the country at large, Hosseini lends an ever more powerful message – that for many women in Afghanistan, there simply is no peace in life.
This is a gripping narrative of suspenseful terror and sorrowful acts, one which fully embodies the degradation of women in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. A Thousand Splendid Suns builds an empathy for its characters which will keep it in your hands as you search for the resolution to the horrors it tells. Hosseini does not just pluck at heartstrings, he plays a sorrowful melody for all the lives and loves lost to a most devastating time in his homeland’s history.
Though hard to stomach at points, this novel is an immensely informative read, one offering a powerful perspective on the many women living similar lives in the world today. Without doubt a heartbreaking tale, A Thousand Splendid Suns does however offer an equally heartwarming truth: that love of family can shed light on even the darkest of times. As life is lost and born once more, one thing remains abundantly clear. There is always a reason to live, and there is always hope.
Overall Rating: 5 stars
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