A Thousand Splendid Suns

by Khaled Hosseini, Khaled Hosseini | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9781594489501 Global Overview for this book
Registered by KateKintail of Burke, Virginia USA on 5/15/2009
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by KateKintail from Burke, Virginia USA on Friday, May 15, 2009
This is a beautiful hardcover edition that I bought at a library used book sale. I wanted a copy because authorauthor's book club was reading this book soon. While looking over books at the book sale, other people around me stared mentioning titles they were looking out for. I said I was looking for this copy and I'd left the room already when one person ran after me, tracked me down, and gave me this copy she'd found for me! How sweet is that?!

I'm finding it difficult to review this book. It's horribly, incredibly depressing-- infinitely more depressing than The Kite Runner (which is saying a lot)-- yet it's a wonderful book that I'd recommend to anyone.

The two main characters (realistically-written women) are quite dissimilar, yet find themselves married to the same man. Because of her status in the world (an illegitimate daughter with a low-class mother and a father who won't stand up for her) Miriam is married off to a man in an arranged marriage to get rid of her. She endures as her life slowly goes from difficult to unbearable. She has one brief moment of happiness for a few days and that's about it. Just when I was really getting into her story, the book shifts to Laila's story. Strong, young, and intelligent, she has the world at her door. But after losing almost everything- including the man whose son she is secretly carrying- she has no choice but to marry a man who wants her.

Political changes and Taliban occupation weave their way into the story- not only driving the plot but influencing every little bit of the culture and world of these women. It feels like a story that SHOULD be taking place a hundred years ago, but we have reminders throughout that it is set more recently- Titanic mania, 9-11 events, etc. shocked me into remembering that not only is this happening in my lifetime (not the dark ages) but it's STILL happening today to some people in some parts of the world.

My favorite parts revolved around the women's emotions and reactions to life- what the burka is like to wear, what conviction it takes to send your daughter to an orphanage because you can't afford to keep her and yet risk your life just walking down the street to visit her, how trusting ANYONE is so difficult, how you can't take anything/anyone for granted.

It was a horrible but beautiful story with just the right amount of everything I wanted. The end tied everything up with a neat little ribbon the way fiction can do... but it's still wonderful and realistic and much-needed.

Journal Entry 2 by KateKintail at Baltimore, Maryland USA on Saturday, May 16, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (5/17/2009 UTC) at Baltimore, Maryland USA

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Taking this to a BookCrossing meetup tomorrow. I hope it finds a good home!

Journal Entry 3 by KateKintail from Burke, Virginia USA on Friday, June 12, 2009
Came home with me. Can't believe no one wanted it! :-) Perhaps I'll try again.

Journal Entry 4 by KateKintail at Bethesda, Maryland USA on Sunday, June 14, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (6/14/2009 UTC) at Bethesda, Maryland USA

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Taking this to a BC in DC meetup at La Madeline. I hope it finds a good home!

Journal Entry 5 by wingmelydiawing from Rockville, Maryland USA on Sunday, June 14, 2009
Picked this up at today's BC in DC meetup in Bethesda, MD. This came highly recommended so I'll give it a shot. Thanks!

Journal Entry 6 by wingmelydiawing from Rockville, Maryland USA on Wednesday, January 20, 2010
An incredibly depressing story about two Afghan women living through the numerous regime changes in that country. I will say that this is beautifully written, with compelling characters and rich detail. And I certainly learned a lot about Afghan history and culture. It's just that the story was a big downer, filled with cruelty and regret. Women are horribly mistreated; people are thoughtlessly mean to each other and then never get a chance to apologize for it; and the "happy" ending feels really contrived. So if you're looking for a brutally honest look at the lives of women in Afghanistan, this is probably a pretty good start, but don't go looking for a feel-good story to pass a rainy afternoon. Some of the images will stick with me for a long time.

Journal Entry 7 by wingmelydiawing from Rockville, Maryland USA on Saturday, January 23, 2010
Bringing this to today's BC in DC meet at the Old Post Office in Washington, DC. If no one claims it, I'll release it somewhere downtown.

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