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[Review] A Thousand splendid suns – Khaled Hosseini

von Franzi S.
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Headerbild: A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini (c) Riverhead Books

A Thousand splendid suns is the story of two afghan women, Mariam and Laila. It is the story of women in afghan, young and old, who bear their own burden of suffering and bitterness. They are both born a generation apart, with very different ideas about love and family, who are brought together by war, loss and fate. They have to endure the escalating ranges in their homes and in the streets of Kabul. But they mange to form a bond that makes them sisters and mother and daughter to each other. A bond that alters the course of their own lives.

„One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.“ (S. 203)

The protagonists Mariam and Laila themselves tell us their stories. Which makes this book very special to me, because Khaled Hosseini had to write from their point of view and had to try to think as them. I think, that he did a great job in this task. Their story and feelings are authentic, gripping and emotional.

I found it difficult at first to let me fall in the story completely and it was kind of a rough path at the beginning. But Khaled Hosseini soon captivated me with this beautiful and tragic story of Mariam and Laila. A story which I think is one millions of afghan families had to suffer from in these war-wrecked country. Because we’re not only reading the stories of Mariam and Laila but also an historical trip with details of the culture of Afghanistan, the many wars, the warlords and all the pain and misery the afghan had to suffer for decades. It is the story of all afghan girls and woman who had to live under the rule of men like Rasheed, who treated women like trash, and the Taliban. A story of matched marriages, with young girls and men, way to old for them, with stubborn desires to have a son for a child, the anger and disappointments, when their women gave birth to girls.

„Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. Always. You remember that, Mariam“. (S. 389)

But „A thousand splendid suns“ is also a story of love, family, beauty, happy childhood memories and of hope for a better life. And it’s the story of compassion and the bond and companionship between Mariam and Laila, who couldn’t be more different but had to suffer from similar calamities. Khaled Hosseini shows us the many sides of Afghanistan and that there are also good man, like Lailas father, who believe boys and girls should get the same chances and that education and love are the most important things in life.

„A thousand splendid suns“ is a book full of hatred and friendship, of love, hope and tragedies. I had kind of a rough start but soon learned to love the story of two great, powerful and authentic protagonists. A story which leaves me speechless and moved and shows us, that everyone should have hope. A thought-provoking book which shows how glad we can bee to live in a country without war, we’re we can be who we are and can do what we like and we’re men and women are all equal.

About the Book:
Author: Khaled Hosseini Year: 2008 Publisher: Riverhead Books Pages: 443 Format: Paperback German Titel: Tausend strahlende Sonnen Publsiher Germany: Bloomsbury Berlin


Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. He moved to the U.S. in 1980. Khaled Hosseini is the author of the bestsellers The Kite Runner and The Mountains Echoed. He is the founder of the Khaled Hosseini Foundation and a U.S. Goodwill Envoy to the United Nations Refugee Agency.

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