Book Review: A Thousand Splendid Suns


Giselle Enriquez, Editor-In-Chief

“One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs,
Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.”
― Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

After reading The Kite Runner, I had high expectations for A Thousand Splendid Suns. I can honestly say, the book did not let me down and as much as it was an emotional roller-coaster, I fully enjoyed it.

The dynamic of the book takes place in Afghanistan from the early 1960’s to the early 2000’s. During this time, there was constant warfare, as forces within and without were attempting to take over Afghanistan. Although the novel’s characters move out of Kabul for a bit, the characters never lose hope for a better tomorrow inside the city.

The main plot of the book develops once both main characters, Mariam and Laila’s stories intertwine. From here on out, the book was full of heartbreaking tragedy as we see both characters become victims of abuse and warfare.

Mariam’s story starts with her living with a mentally ill mother and receiving gradual visits from a careless father. Something happens (sorry..can’t spoil) and she ends up getting married off to Rasheed, an evil and cruel husband. Laila loses everything after a bomb kills her family, and Rasheed forces her into marriage with him as well. Laila and Mariam are then faced with various misfortunes, but somehow never lose sight of hope. In the face of tragedy, both the women still manage to become wonderful strong-willed women, Mariam even more so than Laila for unknown reasons (once again, sorry..can’t spoil).

Both heart wrenching and heartwarming, the book is a moving tale with a whole lot of real history. War-torn Afghanistan is something people should be aware of, and stories like this should serve as an awakening toward the amount of suffering others go through living in warfare environments.