A Thousand Splendid Suns
It’s a Real Attractive Fiction Novel is written by Most Famous Award-Winning Author Mr. Khalid Hosseini.
A Thousand Splendid Suns is an intimate look at a country (AFGHANISTAN) that has played a huge role in global politics over the last decade. However, the novel is truly focused on the lives of Afghan women.
A Thousand Splendid Suns is a journey when Khalid Hosseini was so moved by his experiences in Afghanistan and the writing of that he founded the Khalid Hussaini Foundation to help Afghans in need—especially Afghan women.
This is a story of Two Afghan women, namely, Mariam & Laila, who come from radically different walks of life. Relatively stable home life was enjoyed by Laila, works hard at school and spends her afternoons daydreaming about her lifelong crush.
On the other hand, Marium is the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy businessman and faces a huge amount of social stigma from the day she is born.
INTRODUCTION TO AUTHOR
Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, in the city of Afghanistan, in 1965. His mother taught Farsi and history at a high school in Kabul and father was a diplomat in the Afghan Foreign Ministry.
His mother’s family is believed to be from the Mohammadzai community of Pashtuns. He describes his background as privileged. He spent his childhood in the middle-class Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood in Kabul for eight years.
He remembers his sister never suffered discernment for being a female. Kabul itself was a developing diverse city where he regularly flew kites with his cousins.
Hosseini and his family moved to Iran in 1970, where his father worked for the Embassy of Afghanistan in Tehran. In 1973, Hosseini’s family returned to Kabul, and Hosseini’s youngest brother was born in that year.
In 1976, when Hosseini was 11 years old, his father availed a job in Paris, France, and moved with family there. When they were returning to Kabul in 1980 their homeland invaded by the Soviet Army.
His family was then granted political asylum in the United States, after that his family moved to California, San Jose in September 1980. He did his graduation from high school in 1984 and then did his bachelor’s degree in biology from Santa Clara University in 1988.
He further enrolled in the School of Medicine where he earned a medical degree from the University of California, San Diego, in 1993. He was a practicing internist from the year 1996 to 2004 after completing his residency at Cedars-Sinai medical center from Los Angeles.
By Time Magazine, Khaled Hosseini has declared the most famous Afghan in the world, described as a smart minded handsome man by interviewers. He lives with his wife, Roya and their two children, in Northern California.
Hosseini’s devotion to his homeland extends beyond his writings after setting his novels in Afghanistan. His love for his country is quite visible. Since 2006, Hosseini has served as a goodwill ambassador to the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR.
The Khaled Hosseini Foundation came into being after a trip, Hosseini made to Afghanistan in 2007. Hosseini was immensely disturbed to discover the situation of the country he was born in, after going there for the first time in twenty-seven years.
Hosseini started writing his first novel In March 2001 during his medical practice. His first novel The Kite Runner was published by Riverhead Books in 2003 and instantly become an international bestseller and beloved classic and was in the New York Times bestseller list spends more than a hundred weeks.
His 1st novel was published in seventy countries except for Afghanistan. The Novel is a work of fiction, while some parts of the novel are based on Hossein’s childhood.
According to Nielsen Book Scan, the book secured the number 3rd bestselling position in the United States in 2005. It was also shaped into an audiobook recorded in Hosseini’s voice.
In 2007, The Kite Runner was adapted to screen bearing the same title as the novel. Hosseini made a brief appearance in a scene towards the end of the movie.
It was May 2007 when his second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns was published; it was debuted at number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list for almost an entire year.
Scott Rudin has acquired its rights to set to be made a movie on this novel, it has already been published in 60 countries as well. Relationships between men were mainly focused on The Kite Runner, and, the relationship between two women have been revolved around by A Thousand Splendid Suns.
The two books have been sold together over 10 million copies in the United States and over 38 million copies worldwide. The Kite Runner in 2011 was modified into a graphic a novel of a similar name.
Hosseini’s much-awaited third novel And the Mountains Echoed was published in 2013 was reportedly in high demand.
It received promising pre-publication reviews and was anticipated as additional strong achievement, becoming a bestseller and before its release reached in the top 10 on Amazon.com.
Within five months afterward the publication of And the Mountains Echoed, it was reported that more than three million copies were sold.
SUMMARY OF BOOK
A Thousand Splendid Suns is a story about 2 women in Afghanistan from the early 1960s to the early The 2000s. A young girl, Mariam, grows up outside Herat, a small city in Afghanistan, in the 1960s.
She has very complicated feelings about her parents: She lives with her mother, Nana. Her father, Jalil, is a successful businessman, who visits Mariam once a week.
Mariam is an only illegitimate child of him. Jalil has three wives & children too. Mariam welcomes her limited place in Jalil’s life; she wants to live with him & his family in Herat.
For her fifteenth birthday, Mariam shares her wishes known by asking Jalil to take her to see Pinocchio. Despite reluctantly agrees, but then Jalil never shows up to take her to the film.
One day Mariam walks to Herat and finds her father’s house, but Jalil doesn’t let her in, so she sleeps on the street. The very next morning, Jalil’s “chauffeur” drives Mariam home where she finds that her mother has committed suicide as she was disheartened cox of Mariam.
After her mother’s funeral, Mariam is taken to Jalil’s home, however, Jalil’s wives have nothing to do with her, so they force him to let her marry Rasheed. Rasheed is a widowed shoemaker in Kabul.
At first, Mariam treated very decently by Rasheed, but after she suffers a miscarriage, he abuses her both physically and verbally. It becomes clear that the only use for Mariam is in her ability to replace the son he lost years ago of Rasheed.
Laila, a young & intelligent girl from a loving family, growing up down the street from Mariam and Rasheed. However, her childhood was disrupted by the Afghani war against the Soviets and her both older brothers leave to join the war.
Just before she reaches young adulthood, Laila’s parents’ get the news that both brothers have been killed. War reaches to Kabul within few years and bombs falling on the city regularly.
This is a time when Tariq & Laila are teenagers and in love. She seeks comfort from her best friend, Tariq, he is a few years older than her. The couple makes quick & passionate love for the first time, as Tariq tells Laila that he and his family are fleeing to Pakistan.
After a few days, Laila’s parents also decide to leave Afghanistan, but her whole family killing by a rocket hits their house as they are packing, and wounding her. Laila recovers as Mariam & Rashed nurse her back to health but she received news from a stranger, Abdul Sharif that Tariq has died.
Laila agrees to marry Rasheed after realizing that she is pregnant with Tariq’s child. Initially, the presence of Laila hurt & threatened to Mariam & she refuses to have anything with her.
However, the women come to see as allies themselves against abuse, manipulative ways of Rasheed after Laila gives birth to a daughter, Aziza. After a few years, Laila gives birth to a Zalmai, son of Rasheed.
One afternoon, after years of abuse & sadness, Laila is shocked to see a man standing at her front door; Tariq. Rasheed is at work, while, Laila & Tariq spend the afternoon. It is realized that it was Tariq who hired Abdul Sharif to tell Laila about Tariq’s untrue demise so Laila wouldn’t run away.
Laila is brutally beaten by Rasheed when he finds out that Tariq has come home. Mariam kills Rasheed with a shovel. To clear the way for Tariq & Laila to find sanctuary for themselves & Laila’s children in Pakistan, the next day, Mariam turns herself over to the Taliban.
Finally, Laila & Tariq marry in Pakistan and begin the life they dreamed of so many years ago. With time, they enjoy their new life and also Laila’s children warm to Tariq. But their happiness is overshadowed by news on September 2001 that Afghanistan has been an attack by the United States.
Laila insists that her the family shall move back home so they can rebuild their city as the conditions in Kabul getting improved after the US invasion.
On their way to Kabul, they stop by Herat where Laila visits the old home of Mariam and is able to come to terms with her grief over the execution of Mariam.
In Kabul, Laila with Tariq builds a new life. Laila starts working as a schoolteacher at the orphanage where Aziza once lived. Laila decides that she will name her Mariam if she becomes pregnant and has a girl.
FAVORITE THING IN BOOK
The favorite thing in this book is Character of Mariam. Mariam is a quiet, thoughtful and leading major child character at the start of the book.
She was born out of wedlock to Jalil, a married and rich businessman, and Nana, his former housekeeper. Mariam only sees her father once a week as she resents her mother’s strict ways.
Being illegitimate makes her shamed & unable to stand up for herself. When Nana commits suicide after Mariam runs away at the age of 15, she is caused continues stress by guilty that controls her much of her life.
It contributes tolerance to being married to the abusive & already married Rasheed. Mariam turns into a fearful, bitter & resentful woman during her long marriage to Rasheed due to her inability to have children.
This all helps her to understand her own mother better, with the arrival of Rasheed’s second wife, Laila, Mariam life changes. Finally, Mariam is able to fulfill her wish to be a mother through her love for Laila & her children.
Mariam was born in 1959 in Herat, an ethnic Pashtun father. She is born out wedlock of Nana & Jalil. Because of her circumstances of birth, she suffers shame throughout her childhood.
Khaled Hosseini described Mariam’s portrayal in the keyword is that “Mariam is isolated in every sense of the world”. Mariam is a woman, who is detached from the day to day norms of human existence. Mariam, really, just wants a connection with another human being.
That’s why however Marium is starting doesn’t like Laila being her rival but as Laila also faced the same hardship of being married to the abusive & psychological imposing Rasheed, she becomes not only her friend but a doting alternative mother.
Rasheed is being killed by Mariam’s intervenes with a shovel. In order to draw attention away from Tariq & Laila, Mariam confesses to killing Rasheed. Tariq & Laila are allowed to leave for Pakistan with Zalmi & Aziza after Mariam is publicly executed. Tariq & Laila start spending their days while working at a guest house in Murree, a summer retreat.
DISLIKE THING ABOUT BOOK
Rasheed character is the most dislike in this book.
Rasheed, a shoemaker & widowed, before marriage to 15-years-old Mariam, his 1st wife, and son died many years ago. Rasheed is a most conservative & willful and quickly instructs Mariam on what he believes an ideal wife should be fertile, subservient and obedient.
As soon it is cleared that Mariam is unable to have children, he loses his patience with Mariam and starts abuse Mariam verbally & physically. Rasheed successfully entraps Laila, another young a girl as she has limited option to be married after endlessly motivated by the desire to replace his dead son.
Rasheed’s redeeming qualities emerge with Zamai, only when Laila provides him with a son, he is so kind, patient, gentle and loving with him. However, that affection of Rasheed for Zalmi does not extend to his two wives or even for Laila’s daughter, Aziza.
It is Rasheed’s manipulative and cruel ways resulting Mariam killing him in self-defense eventually. Rasheed is the antagonist of the novel, an ethnic Pashtun, a shoemaker. Through an arrangement with Jalil, Rasheed marries Marriam and later also marries Laila.
Mariam Bludgeons Rasheed to death with a shovel during a violent struggle, after suffering years of domestic abuse at his hands. Hosseini stated that he hoped to create successfully Rasheed as a multi-layered character in it, saying.
“Rasheed’s the embodiment of the patriarchal, tribal character. In writing him, I didn’t want to write him as an irredeemable villain. He is a reprehensible person, but there are moments of humanity, such as his love for his son.”
He identified an encounter with an Afghan man four years earlier as the foundation for this character; the man “had a very sweet, subservient wife” and had not yet informed her that he was planning to marry again.
MY FAVORITE PASSAGE OF BOOK
When a new life is being enjoyed by Laila in Murree. Not only she doesn’t mind her job but also she enjoys having some time off to tour around the countryside with her family.
However, In July 2002, Tariq is suggested by Laila that she would like to move back to Kabul. As Taliban forces have been driven out of the Kabul and Hamid Karzai has been named the president of Afghanistan.
She desires to be part of all the good things going in Kabul not based on homesickness as much, Laila explains to Tariq. Laila says to make a stop Herat on the way home as she needs to visit the grave of Mariam. Tariq agrees for all to follow her to Kabul.
Both children, Aziza and Zalmi, are upset about the move to Kabul. She will not go back to orphanage as there will no longer be bombs falling constantly anymore, Laila tells Aziza; as soon as they get settled in Kabul, the will buy a new goat, Tariq assures Zalmi. And they set off for Herat.
Laila along with her the family gets a hotel room in Herat. Next morning, Laila gets a taxi and sets off alone to Gul Daman, the village where Mariam’s family was situated.
She talks with Hamza, son of Mullah Faizullah, having found Mullah Faizullah’s home. She comes to know that Mullah died years ago. Laila explains to Hamza about her connection to Mariam, Hamza takes Laila to the Kolba.
During exploring the Kolba, Laila is overwhelmed by the feeling of the presence of Mariam and even imagines herself as a little girl, sewing a doll. Afterward, she backs to Hamza’s home where Hamza gives her a box left there by Jalil many years ago.
As Laila returns to the hotel, she opens the box and finds inside a videotape and a letter and a sack. She finds a VCR in the hotel and plays the tape in as Pinocchio starts playing, Laila wonders why Jalil left this tape for Mariam.
After video Laila reads the letter, herein Jalil apologizes to Mariam and explains his regret and shame for his behavior so many years ago.
Jalil writes that in the sack is Mariam’s portion of her inheritance is too little and too late, Jalil knows, however, he hopes that it offers her some sort of comfort at least. Laila shares with Tariq the contents and weeps as Tariq and kids return to the hotel room.
During Laila’s visit Herat, she’s able to say goodbye to Mariam as well as find belated closure in Mariam’s relationship to Jalil. The letter of Jalil also marks a final commentary on his role as a father of Mariam and wraps up the contrast between all the father figures in this novel.
Through Laila’s journey to Herat, she’s able to learn more about Mariam’s childhood as well as her relationship with Jalil and through these revelations, Laila finds peace. Laila gained a much better understanding by visiting the place called Kolba where Mariam grew up.
She sees the willow stand and the dry creek bed and all of these images from Mariam’s past, which helps her remember Mariam and feel close to her one last time. This pilgrim’s journey conjointly offers closure on the rift between Mariam and Jalil.
Jalil’s 3 last gifts to Mariam — the letter, Pinocchio, and her inheritance — show Jalil’s sincere regret and love for Mariam, every object conveyance of title a special side of his feelings.
By as well as the video, Jalil acknowledges the promise he stony-broke and tries to mend it. Through the letter, Jalil explains his case and is in a position to clear his conscience and enkindle forgiveness.
Finally, the inclusion of the inheritance signifies Mariam as, at long last, a legitimate kid, removing the stigma of being born out of the spousal relationship. Laila is in a position to act as a reliever for Mariam by acceptive these gifts.
Jalil’s last act as a father restores, a minimum of partly, the image of him Mariam carried together with her throughout her childhood. In the main father figures conferred throughout the novel — Jalil, Hakim, and Rasheed — they’re all fallible to varying degrees, but all, at some level, capable of affection.
Jalil betrays his girl however tries to create amends; Hakim, whereas an exquisite father, has a problem in connecting along with his wife’s suffering relating to their sons, and at last, Rasheed, heartless and self-seeking in nearly every side aside from his affectionateness and kindness toward Zalmai.
Through his investigation of maternity, fatherhood, and gender roles, Hosseini shows however tough it’s to be an honest man, woman, father, or mother, and the way social demands, values, and limitations structure these tries.
By providing all of those fathers with redeeming qualities, Hosseini shows compassion for his characters and for the advanced scenario within which they struggle to try to their best.
MAIN MESSAGE OF THE BOOK
There are several themes to contemplate during this novel. an issue that resonated on behalf of me was the bonds those females created in a very patriarchic and sometimes misogynistic world. The women forge robust bonds despite the efforts of their husbands and their government to cut back women’s power.
The bonds dissent in nature. as an example, Giti, Hasina, and Laila kind a bond of young friendly relationship, however Mariam and Laila kinda far additional powerful familial bond later within the novel.
Nana finds strength from her girl Mariam and Mariam finds an acquaintance once she arrives in a very Taliban-controlled jail. The novel, therefore, suggests that ladies have a robust ability to search out strength and support in each other.
Mariam ne’er would have gained the strength to fight Rasheed if she had not gained confidence and love from Laila.
OVERALL I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE RATING OF THE BOOK (10 OUT OF 10) 🙂