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A Thousand Splendid Suns [Hardcover]

Khaled Hosseini
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,177 customer reviews)

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Book Description

22 May 2007
Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry the troubled and bitter Rasheed, who is thirty years her senior. Nearly two decades later, in a climate of growing unrest, tragedy strikes fifteen-year-old Laila, who must leave her home and join Mariam's unhappy household. Laila and Mariam are to find consolation in each other, their friendship to grow as deep as the bond between sisters, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. With the passing of time comes Taliban rule over Afghanistan, the streets of Kabul loud with the sound of gunfire and bombs, life a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear, the women's endurance tested beyond their worst imaginings. Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism. In the end it is love that triumphs over death and destruction. A Thousand Splendid Suns is an unforgettable portrait of a wounded country and a deeply moving story of family and friendship. It is a beautiful, heart-wrenching story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely bond and an indestructible love.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; 1st edition (22 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747582793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747582793
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,177 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 130,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Khaled Hosseini is one of the most widely read and beloved novelists in the world, with over thirty eight million copies of his books sold in more than seventy countries. The Kite Runner was a major film and was a Book of the Decade, chosen by The Times, Daily Telegraph and Guardian. A Thousand Splendid Suns was the Richard & Judy Best Read of the Year in 2008. Hosseini is also a Goodwill Envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 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.

Product Description


`Explores the turbulent history of modern Afghanistan through the lives of two young characters' -- Marie Claire

`Hosseini has stuck with his winning formula: compelling, unflashy storytelling centred around two sympathetic protagonists struggling in difficult times ... nothing beats a good story' -- London Paper Book of the Week

`The novel offers extraordinarily harrowing insights into the lives of Afghan women over the past three decades .... If he cut his teeth by writing about his countrymen, it is the plight of Afghanistan's women that has brought him to realise his full powers as a novelist' -- The Times

`A gripping tale ... It is, too, a powerful portrait of female
suffering and endurance under the Taliban' -- Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail

`A view from inside the burqa of the nightmare of Afghanistan's
history over thirty years ... grippingly told' -- Alan Marshall, Daily Telegraph

`Anyone whose heart-strings were pulled by The Kite Runner should
be more than satisfied with this follow-up' -- Natasha Walter, Guardian

`Hosseini has that rare thing, a Dickensian knack for
storytelling. He excels at writing suspenseful epics filled with compelling
characters' -- Lucie Young, Daily Telegraph

`Hosseini illustrates beautifully how ordinary people are capable
of great things through the power of love' -- Shauna Bartlett, Glamour

`Hosseini is at his best in some of his description of the landscape and his account of the developing relationship of the two wives, which begins with hostility and slowly blossoms into a concord ...'
-- Observer

Book Description

The highly anticipated and breathtaking new novel by the author of the internationally best-selling novel The Kite Runner

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
223 of 227 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautifully Crafted Novel 16 July 2007
This book moved me to tears, it is truly a remarkable and beautifully crafted novel. At times Hosseini paints harrowing and brutal scenes but always retains, through the characters of Mariam and Laila, humanity, spirit and above all love. There were chapters in this novel through which I literally held my breath, wishing with all my heart that what was unfolding would not, could not happen. It is very easy for those of us lucky enough to live in safety to visualise Afghanistan as a brutal, forsaken place, but this novel shows us something more. It forces the reader to acknowledge and recognise not only the suffering of people in our war torn world but something else, the human capacity for survival, forgiveness and love. Truly a wonderful book and one I would urge others to read. The best novel I have read in a long time and one that will stay with me for a long time to come.
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85 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant 5 Oct 2008
This is one of the best books I have ever read. The story of two women brought together in the most awful, despicable circumstances which are totally out of their control. The husband Rasheed is probably one of the most hateful, violent characters I have ever come across and Hosseini's writing is so powerful that you believe these people really exist and I hated Rasheed with a passsion. This book had my heart thumping at a failed escape and crying at one of the most poignant chapters set in the Ghaza Stadium. Like the Kite Runner this book does end with a sense of hope but again, getting to that end still fills you with sadness. This is one book I will remember for along time.
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rivetting 7 Mar 2009
By Zara
This is an absolutely brilliant book depicting the lives of two extraordinary Afghani women who are thrown together under highly unusual circumstances. The book follows their struggle against extreme evil, hardship and victimisation. Mariam and Laila show incredible strength as women in a country torn apart by vicious war, and the untoward cruelty suffered by them at the hands of a shared husband whom both were forced to marry, is heartbreaking. It is almost impossible to imagine that this amazing story was set, for the most part of it, in the 1990s. It is such an insight into the country of Afghanistan and this is a book that will stay with you long after you read the last page. Truly one of kind.
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110 of 118 people found the following review helpful
Format:Unknown Binding
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read 29 July 2007
By Blondie
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Once you start reading this book you will not want to put it down. You feel you are there with the characters,sharing all that they go through. I didn't want the book to end. This book is for everyone not just women.
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56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwrenching! unforgetable. 9 Aug 2007
By A. Hope
I just oouldn't put it down! People say that a lot about books, but with this wonderful novel I really couldn't. I was then sorry I had finished it so quickly.

Khaled Hosseini knows how to play our heartstrings - and with this novel he does so beautifully. The characters are unforgetable, their stories tragic. The central female characters in this novel - Mariam and Laila are strong, and believable, the desicions they make all the more heartbreaking for the inevitability of them. Their world shaped by tradition and religion, is narrow with little if any real freedom.

In this novel Hossseini takes us on a journey through more than forty years of Afghan history - we feel the ravages of time upon a once beautiful city, as again and again fighting and bloodshed come to Afghanistan.

This is an excellent second novel, and I eagerly await more from this writer.
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