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June 2023

This is another fabulous book by Hosseini. I absolutely loved his first novel, and his second is just as good. A Thousand Splendid Suns is set in Afghanistan, starting in the early 1960’s, and continuing to present day. It traces the stories of 2 women–Mariam, an unwanted girl, and Laila, a victim of war violence.

Afghanistan is a country of sharp contrasts, and Hosseini writes very movingly about them:

The violent Taliban and those who seek peace through the Koran.

The wife beaters and polygamists and those who love their spouses more than life.

The war and violence, and the peaceful country homes.

The cruelty and violence towards women, and the love and respect they are shown.

Hosseini writes about the history of his country in such a way that makes you recoil at the violence, and yet want to visit it to see the places and people he describes. But in the end, Hosseini’s book is mostly about people finding their place in life, and learning that the greatest gift is the ability to give love to others, and receive love in return.

This book was amazing. It has stayed with me ever since I finished reading it. I don’t know how to begin writing about it, and I don’t want to give anything away, because you need to read it for yourself. You will want to despise the main character, but you won’t. You will want to say that you would have acted differently, but would you have, really? At the risk of sounding like a 4th grade book report: “You need to read this book.”