Book review: A thousand splendid suns by Khaled Hosseini

October 1, 2008

Title: A thousand splendid suns
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Pages: 402

A thousand splendid suns is the story of Mariam and Laila who are two women in Afghanistan. Mariam is an illegitimate child who lives apart from the rest of society with her mother. Every week, Mariam’s father Jalil pays her a visit. Jalil is a wealthy businessman who runs a theatre, some stores, etc.

Mariam adores Jalil and yearns to live with him like a legitimate child. When Jalil doesn’t turn up to take her for a movie on her birthday she decides to visit him at his house in the city. Jalil, who is secretly ashamed of her, refuses to let her in and leaves her to spend the night outside his gate.

The next morning, when Mariam is dropped home by Jalil’s driver, she discovers that her distraught mother has killed herself. Mariam has no choice but to move in with Jalil. She is soon married off to an elderly widower from Kabul called Rasheed.

Rasheed turns out to be a very conservative man who abuses Mariam badly and makes her life a living hell. Things begin to look very bad for Mariam when Rasheed decides to marry a beautiful young orphan from the neighbourhood called Laila.

Mariam is initially hostile to Laila, especially since she receives much better treatment. However, once Laila gives birth to a girl instead of a boy Rasheed begins ill-treating her as well. This brings Mariam and Laila together in an unbreakable friendship that will ultimately be Laila’s salvation.

A thousand splendid suns is quite a good book. I found it to be much better than Hosseni’s previous book, The Kite Runner,which I read earlier this year.


2 Responses to “Book review: A thousand splendid suns by Khaled Hosseini”

  1. A. N. Nanda Says:


    “The Kite Runner” is like an insider’s account of atrocities perpetrated by Talibans in Afghanistan. I liked it but people who want to be spared of the details of violence might find it difficult to read. I’ve not read “A thousand splendid suns” by Khaled Hosseini and I take your recommendation. It should be a better book.



  2. […] A thousand splendid suns by Khaled Hosseini […]

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