This post contains affiliate links.  I heard of A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini in one of the book recommendation Facebook groups I’m part of.  Sometimes, I start reading books that members recommend only to realize the book is not for me.  However, I’m so glad I choose to read this book.  It is easily one of my top 10 favorite books of 2021.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini

About A Thousand Splended Suns by Khaled Hosseini

This book tells the stories of two women–Laila and Mariam, born a generation apart and in vastly different circumstances.  Both are born in Afghanistan, but Mariam is born during a time when women had few liberties.  To make matters worse, she’s born out of wedlock to a mentally unstable mother and a father who already has three wives.

Meanwhile, Laila is born to an educated family.  Her father only has one wife, and he is a college professor.  During Laila’s childhood, she’s free to go to school and gain an education.  Her father insists that Laila won’t be married young as many girls in the neighborhood are.  Instead, she’ll be college educated.

However, the backdrop of this story is the constant warring factions in Afghanistan, and as grand as Laila’s father’s plans are for her, he cannot control who is in power or the constant battles surrounding their city of Kabul.

Eventually, Laila and Mariam are brought together in the most unlikely way, and then the story really takes off until it concludes in a beautiful, heartbreaking way.

My Thoughts on the Book

Like other books I’ve read where females are not considered as valuable as males, such as The Girl with the Louding Voice and Purple Hibiscus, this book was difficult to read at times.  In a society where men hold all the power and there are few social repercussions for men’s behavior, women suffer enormously.  Laila and Mariam did suffer greatly, but they also had beautiful parts of their lives even in all the misery.

I don’t know much about Afghan history before 2001, as I’m guessing most Americans don’t, so this book was also a good introduction to that.  Because I loved this book, I now I plan to read Khaled Hosseini’s other books.

I give A Thousand Splended Suns by Khaled Hosseini 5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.  (I’d give it many more if I could!)

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