Author’s Name: Khaled Hosseini
Book Name: A Thousand Splendid Suns
Paperback: 419 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Khaled Hosseini is known for his heart-wrenching and emotionally overwhelming novels. May it be ‘The mountains echoed’ or ‘The kite runner’. ‘A thousand splendid suns’ is no different, in fact, it is a bigger rollercoaster of emotions. More than grieving, the book can become enraging at times. The traumatic circumstances that the characters are put through are brutal, yet so realistic.
Being a female in the modern world, who has read and watched multiple documentaries on the hardships women and girls face in the middle east, reading a beautifully described story about these tortured women on a personal level, was passionate as well as exasperating. The author could flawlessly develop strong emotional connections between the author and the reader.
Some moments in ‘A thousand splendid suns’ are so impactful, that it left me reading the lines over and over again. This is especially because Hosseini is the master at releasing the climax suddenly within just a few lines. You feel like everything is fine and going pleasantly for a few paragraphs until it’s not. In the last lines, he introduces a massive distressing event that leaves the readers gasping for air.
As I mentioned, the book can be incredibly emotional and angering when you read the hardships the characters have to endure throughout their young lives. Its the perfect representation of how young girls’ youth is snatched away from them when they are given off to their suitors and are expected to live lives like a mature woman. Talking about young girls’ weddings, marriage and relationships from an age as tender as nine years is a troubling thought to a reader from the modern world. It aggravating how, their education is thrown on the sidelines either due to circumstantial problems, or people’s close-minded thinking or in the name of religion.
One very important factor that I found impactful was how religion is used as a weapon for every single wrong or negative act. May that be depriving women of equality, or depriving people of feelings or depriving nations of rights. It is insane, how unapologetically, the powerful people take full control of the lives of others.
The book also represents how some men treated the women in their lives without respect, like a worthless cat. The women are set and expected to be subservient, obedient, and fertile; and that is their only use of life, and its almost like they are a machine/ a maid for the men otherwise.
Even though this book is a ‘Must Read’on everybody’s list, one thing I did not like is the use of voice. The novel is written in third person voice, which slightly disconnects readers from a direct and personal experience, with much more detailed emotions. The author has focused a lot on the description of the surrounding and other physical elements around the characters, but I think that he has left a lot of the feelings up to the audience to understand and sense. While this can be an improvement, I think this is also a part of the magic the novel possesses, where it leaves important events up to the reader’s imagination.
The impactful and stunning stories are beautifully interconnected which leaves the audience believing how strong the characters in this book are. This work of fictional drama uses strong colloquial terms that bring out the essence of the atmosphere, and this is developed very well.
The conclusion or end of the book is inspiring and unbearably painful. It is a wonderful ode to Laila and Mariam’s well-developed relationship, which is the fundamental substructure that the book is built on. It highlights how Mariam and Laila become family and how Mariam’s love still lives on after her death. It is a beautifully written book, and a ‘Must Read’ in everybody’s list of books. Tantalising, and mind-blowing plot and drama created and developed.
Book Cover: 3/5
Book Title: 2.5/5
Writing Style: 3.5/5
Language and Vocabulary: 4/5
Grammar and Punctuation: 4/5
Lisha is an avid reader, writer, and a Philomath, who seeks solace in novels and movies. She is too silent and awkward in person, so she weaves webs of words that sound like stories and traps her readers. She is not a fan of clichés and even though, she is accused of thinking “too” out-of-the-box, she doesn’t believe that there is anything like that. Ideas and thoughts cannot be measured or limited.