A Thousand Splendid Suns Nook Edition by Khaled Hosseini
Click Here to Download the Book A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan's last thirty years, from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding, that puts the violence, fear, hope and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives, the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness, are inextricable from the history playing out around them. Propelled by the same storytelling instinct that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once a remarkable chronicle of three decades of Afghan history and a deeply moving account of family and friendship. It is a striking, heartwrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love, a stunning accomplishment.
Reviews In the book "The Things They Carried", the soldiers from America went to Vietnam to fight in war. The human nature of the men were disturbed by the images they viewed while fighting. Their first natural instinct is to help a fellow in war when he is down. When Rat Kiley dies in war, all of his fellow soldiers rush over and surround him. That is the type of feelings and emotions they have for one another. Similar to "A Thousand Splendid Suns", the human nature of war for the civilians was to be frightened. The Afghans were the ones being invaded versus the Americans invading Vietnam. The human nature of Afghanistan was to take care of themselves. The men were dominant and women knew that. Women were not treated with equal rights and that affected their society. Only the men had jobs and provided for their families. The real social issues that occurred between these two novels was the inability to accept one another equally. The Americans couldn't accept that Vietnam was Communist and the Afghans wouldn't be accepted due to religion. People still judge others to this day based on religion. As a female, I couldn't imagine the difficulties they faced growing up as a young girl. When I was fourteen, I was worried about which friends house to play at or deciding which sport to play. Girls from Afghanistan that were the age of fourteen were married and having to rush into adulthood at a rapid pace. I respect the women and what they had to go through. As I enter my adult ages, I realize the world was sugar-coated as a child. Things always were great and fun. Now as I grow into maturity, I understand the realization of life. Thinking of how Laila and Mariam were treated as adults made me appreciate the things I normally take for granted, such as being able to pick my own husband of my choice and have a say in what my career path will be. As Laila became a mother she had to be the role model for her son and daughter. If I become a parent some day I will make sure the child receives the best education and care a child could get. Even when she had to give Aziza up for a period of time, she still gave her love and showed her how much she means to her. It touches my heart to read the passion she has for her kids and to constantly give them all she can. I share empathy for her and Mariam for taking that abuse and turning it into something positive. Empathy is the sympathy for another being according to Webster Dictionary. My feelings towards Mariam and Laila are empathy for the abuse, lack of equality, and lack of freedom they endured. It wasn't fair to them and it isn't fair to anyone else. No matter what age, sex, race, or religion you are there should be equality. This book did experience empathy when the two women went through such cruel living arrangements. Although other women in Afghanistan might not be as sympathetic as others, it still made me feel empathy towards them. An example of empathy in America would be seeing homeless people walking the streets. It makes a person feel empathy for the lifestyle the person is living. Some might lend them spare change or some might blow it off and say that it's their own fault. In the sense of this novel, empathy does help the book. It makes you realize that our lives aren't so bad. Teenagers think that being grounded from no cell phones is a punishment where as the women in Afghanistan get punched and slapped. It makes Americans appreciate what we have and our freedom along with equal rights.
It's rare that fiction will make me cry but this is one of the very few exceptions. This story sends you on an emotional roller coaster where you soon to feel a sense of friendship with the two main characters and a
real-life, grown-up hate for some of the other characters. While I probably won't re-read this again because of the emotional cargo it comes with, I have to say this was a very well-written novel. Although I'm lucky enough to not live with men like Rasheed, or even know men like that, I can understand what it's like being treated differently solely because of my gender. I found these women, Laila and Mariam, to be very inspiring to have finally stood up to, not only Rasheed, but to oppression itself. One thing I really liked in the story was how Hosseini didn't present Rasheed as the representative of the male population of this part of the world. There's this terrible stereotype that goes along with Middle Eastern men that says that they treat women like Rasheed treated Mariam and Laila. The character of Tariq provides a kind of character foil to Rasheed. By doing this, by creating this spectrum, Hosseini geniusly (is that a word? whatever) says, "Look, I'm not saying that men are like this because they're from this country or they were raised in this culture." Yes, Afghanistan was an important part of the story, but the character of Rasheed wasn't meant to be a representative of Middle Eastern males. Anyways, I believe that everyone should read this book. It's a story about bravery, oppression, finding strength, and finding friendship and love, and I believe that everyone can relate to at least one of those themes.
I had this book on my shelf for several years before mustering up the strength to read it. "The Kite Runner" was such a wonderfully written yet haunting story. I knew Hosseini would tell yet another story of war-ridden Afghanistan that would leave me disturbed. I was bit reluctant to read this book because I was scared Hosseini's second novel would disappoint me. Well, disappointing is not the word I would use to describe this poignantly written story of two women whose lives become intertwined. This story is eloquently written but behind the story of these two women lies truth. Reading to me provides an escape into someone else's lives. While reading Hosseini's work, I don't want to escape into the live of his characters; rather, I experience such a wide range of emotions that I can't help but want to stop the horrors that his characters experience. I may be in the minority, but I liked this book slightly better than "The Kite Runner." I felt such despair for Laila and Mariam, but I could sense that behind the violence of Hosseini's story lies the true horrors that hundreds of women living in Afghanistan suffered at the hands of cruel husbands or the unjust laws of the Taliban. The scars that years of unrest and the Taliban have left on Afghanistan will take many years to heal.
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