A Thousand Splendid Suns

Published on 25 February 2024 at 13:42

Title: A Thousand Splendid Suns

Author: Khaled Hosseini 


Overall Rating: 10/10

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a novel dedicated to expressing the suffering of women in Afghanistan, challenging the Western notions of the country and celebrate the culture and people of Afghanistan.


After over 40 years of war in the country it is easy to write off the area as a war zone and forget the lives of the people living there. Hosseini seeks to rectify that and ensure that we do not forget the struggles of life in Afghanistan. 


The novel is very well crafted to the point that you know what Hosseini is trying to present without him explicitly putting it in the novel. He is empathetic and sensitive with the way he describes the potentially triggering aspects of his novel and delivers home the horrors or war to a western world that hasn't had war on their home land in decades. 


We explore themes of motherhood. Female friendships, the horror of war, the plight of refugees, domestic violence and Islam.


Khaled Hosseini criticises the abuse of religion in order to further a political agenda and presents the harsh consequences of when groups manipulate and abuse religious texts. The novel is powerful and Hosseini does a brilliant job at presenting a woman's voice, thoughts and life events despite him being male. It is highly accessible novel and integrates elements of historical fiction with the fictional character constructs. Every detail from the dates written in the book to the real people referenced he really takes advantage of the verisimilitude that is available to him and uses it to break Western pre-notions about Afghanistan as a result of the media's depictions. 


He also presents a new light on refugees. Hosseini is a large advocate for the humanising and rights of refugees. He has his own foundation 'The Khaled Hosseini Foundation' that works to provide Humanitarian aid to those Refugees in Afghanistan. We see how he depicts the difficulties of leaving your country of origin and the loss and sorrow of having to leave all your belongings except what's necessary. 


I must warn however the book may be triggering to some people due to the inclusion of:

  • Loss of a parent
  • Forced Marriage
  • Marital rape
  • Domestic Violence
  • Miscarriages
  • War
  • Experience of Refugees


Written by M.

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