Book reviews

A Thousand Splendid Suns

This was not a comfortable read.

I had read the Kite Runner before, and this one was as hard.

Not long ago, in a discussion with lovely friends and readers, I got to thinking his books were bad, the type of books I did not need nor want to read. And that is because these books are hurtful to many, hurtful beyond what they can take.

Today, I consider the author tactful and not gratuitous in the descriptions of the lowest acts of humans. I got more than just pretty language, I felt his love for a culture he knows well, and his urge to denounce acts, people, regimens, along with his need for showing us the resilience and love we humans share, even in the midst of dehumanizing life conditions.

That being said, I hesitate to add more, because when I spend too much time reading what those I value think about certain books, or too many reviews by strangers, that conditions me and paralyzes me to make decisions if to read or not to read this or that title. Many times I have almost missed books I have benefited from, because I had a distorted view of what they were. Others I have read or attempt to read books that are not me, and that’s not recommendable either 🙂 It’s best to follow your trained conscience, and figure out who you are, and give what you believe may be worth a try. After all, you can always quit what and when you think it’s needed.
I believe in one Truth and one God, the christian God, but I defend that our reading paths are private. It is not easy to go up on a stand and approve or condemn titles, it just does not make sense. I can give you patterns or clues, and I am willing to share my private journey as a reader. It may inspire some, upset others… I can tell you there are certain books that I believe them not to be of any value for a christian, but you may not care for the titles and you may disagree. In any case, I believe Hosseini writes literature, and, like any author, his audience is just his audience, and if you are not one, don’t feel like you are missing anything either. There are multiple ways to obtain the teachings or come to the conclusions I got reading this book, it does not have to be this title, or even reading a book!
Have you read any book(s) by Hosseini? Do you care to share your thoughts?

9 thoughts on “A Thousand Splendid Suns”

  1. I love your thoughtful, compassionate approach to this, Silvia. And I agree that there is far more here than “man's inhumanity to man.” There is love–the author's love for a people and a country and a culture. And the novel portrays sacrificial love, and the human spirit's ability to sometimes soar above the horrific conditions that would chain it to despair and revenge.

    As you may guess, I am one who loved this book. I love that Khaled Hosseini gave life to Mariam and allowed her to speak, and in so doing, gave the voiceless women of Afghanistan a voice. What Hosseini has done with this book reminds me of Proverbs 31:8-9: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Mariam's story is a story that needed to be told. The people of Afghanistan deserve to have their story told. And as Americans, I believe, to some extent at least, we have a duty to learn their stories. I, for one, am thankful for this compassionate and graceful novel which allowed my heart to be broken for the Afghan people.


  2. I agree completely. I was telling Heather how, without being a book from a Christian perspective it has Christian universal values… Miriam is a beautiful beyond words person. I will never forget her either. I needed this book and I respect those who cannot read this books but hope we all can have that compassion for Afghanistan men and women.


  3. I will do that, Heather… I have bought several copies of authors and I have only read one so far. For example, I wanted to buy Lila, from Marilyn Robinson, but morally… I have two other books from her I have not read yet, so, I will have to read at least ONE before buying this one.


  4. I won't forget that line either. There was so much beauty and peace in this woman, so much “honoring her parents”, so much heroic qualities within her imperfections and mistakes. Specially, so much sweetness and ability to return love for hatred. Her outlook on life was brave and inspiring beyond words.


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