A Thousand Splendid Suns: Book Review

A Thousand Splendid Suns Book Cover
Published: May 22, 2007
A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan's last thirty years that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives—the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness—are inextricable from the history playing out around them.

About the Author:

Khaled Hosseini is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Kite RunnerA Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed

His father was diplomat in the Afghan Foreign Ministry and his mother taught Farsi and history at a high school in Kabul when Hosseini was born in 1965.

At the young age of 11, his family relocated to Paris, France for his father’s work. When they were prepared to move back to Kabul 4 years later, they had to dramatically readjust their plans as their homeland was invaded by the Soviet Union.

His family was granted political asylum in the United States and decided to move to San Jose, California.

This is where Hosseini received his high school education and, ultimately, his post-secondary medical degree in 1993.

Between 1996 to 2004, Hosseini was a practicing internist. During this time, he began writing his first novel, The Kite Runner, which became one of the most recognized and bestselling novels of all time, selling more than 4 million copies.

In 2003, he visited Kabul, remembering and witnessing details of Afghan life. After observing women wearing burkas during this visit, he was inspired to write his second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Hosseini’s wrote this novel to highlight the hardships of women in Afghanistan, the tyranny of the government, and misuse of power.

A Thousand Splendid Suns became a number one New York Times bestseller for fifteen weeks following its release. During its first week on sale, it sold over one million copies.

Since then, Hosseini has established The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.

 He has been instrumental in advocating for change and raising awareness on international social issues. He currently resides in California with his wife and two children.

My Rating: 5/5

I rate this novel a 5/5 because it is exceptionally written and is one of those novels that you simply cannot put down or stop thinking about once you’ve read it.

I read this novel two years ago for the first time, during a road trip to Ottawa with my family. I figured reading would be a good way to spend my time during the five hour drive.

The moment I started reading, I was instantly struck by Hosseini’s vivid and compelling descriptions.

The feelings he communicates are raw, powerful, and moving. Not only is the story enthralling, but the way he writes is engaging and easy to follow.

I ended up finishing the novel during those few hours – 30 minutes before we reached our destination. Why? Because I just had to.

I spent the remainder of the drive reflecting on this heartbreaking story.

This novel paints a picture of the radical shifts in the political and social climate of Afghanistan but does not get too descriptive or politically intense.

Instead, it focuses on how the characters are mentally, physically, and emotionally impacted by their corrupt government.

A Thousand Splendid Suns left my heart feeling heavy and, not to sound dramatic, it really opened my eyes.

It illustrates the harsh reality of many individuals who live in an environment that abuses their rights and neglects their safety.

It is in an incredibly sad, uplifting, infuriating and memorable story that everyone should read. Reading this novel will communicate to you what true hardship and suffering is.

It will gnaw at your emotions and leave you feeling illuminated and torn.

There is no other novel quite like it, which is why it earns a solid 5/5 rating for me. I do not think there are any errors, plot holes, or flaws. Most importantly, the novel never gets boring or has a dull moment. It is always gripping and seemlessly evokes emotion.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is my favourite novel of all time. I’ve recommend this novel to everyone I know who likes to read, and I definitely suggest you pick up a copy and get reading yourself.

Please note that the novel may be triggering for some as it describes a lot of violence that some readers may be sensitive towards.

Other than this warning, prepare to be mesmerized by this powerful masterpiece.


“By the end you are not only left with a tear, but with a fire lit within. It is above all a story of hope and of life, the heroism that comes with love and the inevitable strife that comes with living. Inspirational, outstanding, every man and women must read this tale.” – The Guardian

“Hosseini’s writing makes our hearts ache, our stomachs clench, and our emotions real…[He] tells this saddest of stories in an achingly beautiful prose through stunningly heroic characters whose spirits somehow grasp the dimmest rays of hope.” – USA Today

“Hosseini has a storytelling gift…[He] offers us the sweep of historical upheavals narrated with the intimacy of family and village life…What keeps this novel vivid and compelling are Hosseini’s eye for the textures of daily life and his ability to portray a full range of human emotions.” – Los Angeles Times

“Hosseini’s instinctive storytelling skills take over, mowing down the reader’s objections through sheer momentum and will. He succeeds in making the emotional reality of Mariam and Laila’s lives tangible to us, and by conjuring their day-to-day routines, he is able to give us a sense of what daily life was like in Kabul – both before and during the harsh reign of the Taliban.” – The New York Times

“[Love] is the emotion – subterranean, powerful, beautiful, illicit, and infinitely patient- that suffuses that pages of Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns…Hosseini movingly examines the connections between unlikely friends, the fissures that open up between parents and children, the intransigence of quiet hearts.” – O, The Oprah Magazine

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4 Replies to “A Thousand Splendid Suns: Book Review

  1. Wow, this sounds like such a great book! I’ve been in isolation for about 6 weeks and I’m in need of some new reading material. I’ve read a few classics and even some new releases but this one intrigued me. I like books that you cannot stop thinking about once you put it down, and if it’s easy to ready, that’s a bonus. I checked the price and it seems well worth it, thanks.

    1. Hello Brandon! So glad you’re considering purchasing this novel – it definitely seems like something you would really enjoy! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  2. This was a great review, I will definitely be adding this to my read list now. Although I can’t read in a vehicle like you without getting motion sick I do enjoy listening to books while I drive. Do you know if this is available as an audio book? Do you recommend any other novels by Khaled Hosseini?

    1. Hi Tyler! I’m so glad you are going to give this amazing book a read! I would recommend The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini as well, it’s his most popular novel and it’s beautifully written 🙂 

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