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A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Literary Fiction   All Shortlists and Winners   
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Winner of the Best Read of the Year at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2008.

Reviewed on Richard & Judy on Wednesday 9 January 2008.

If you like The Kite Runner you will love this second novel from Hosseini. This story follows the lives of two women in Afghanistan who are a generation apart and have had led quite different lives but by a twist of fate end up married to the same man. This is a novel about friendship and strength of character and is a compelling read.

If you like Khaled Hosseini you might also like to read books by Asne Seierstad, Daniel Mason and Yasmina Khadra.


A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Poor, uneducated Mariam is terrified and only fifteen years old when she is shipped off to Kabul to marry a troubled man thirty years her senior. Nearly two decades later, pretty fifteen-year-old Laila finds herself in the same situation when her intellectual parents are killed by a stray Mujahideen bomb. Forced to forget the passionate love of her life, a boy sheâs known since childhood, Laila has no choice but to join that same loveless household with shy Mariam and the bitter husband they now share. In time, however, orphaned Laila and childless Mariam form a friendship that makes them both sisters and mother and daughter to one another. When children are born into this household, the situation gets worse and worse — from shootings and bombings on the street, to physical abuse and starvation at home — and the women are put to phenomenal tests of endurance and strength. In scene after suspenseful scene, Hosseini shows us just how a womanâs love for her family can motivate her to overcome the most daunting obstacles, can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice. In the end, we see, it is love — or even loveâs memory — that is often the key to survival.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is the heartbreaking story of an unforgiving history, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love; it is a novel that lives on in the mind long after the last page.


‘A beautifully crafted and disturbing story of two women victims of the wrath of men. As unforgettable as The Kite Runner, this novel places us in Afghanistan with an open heart.â Isabel Allende

'I loved this book - I couldn't put it down and read it in one sitting. It is incredibly moving and a real insight into the madness and suffering of Afghanistan - in particular its women.' Fiona Bruce

'Compelling, unflashy story-telling centred around two sympathetic protagonists struggling in difficult times... nothing beats a good story' - London Paper Book of the Week

About the Author

Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini was born in Afghanistan and his family received political asylum in the USA in 1980. He lives in California and he works as a physician.

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Book Info

Publication date

14th March 2013


Khaled Hosseini

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Author's Website


Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing


544 pages


Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Fiction in translation



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