Hosseini delivers in similar style to The Kite RunnerA_Thousand_Splendid_Suns.jpg

Khaled Hosseini’s unique style is prevalent throughout this novel, as he incorporates different character viewpoints as well as verb tenses to create a mood of storytelling that is uniquely his own. This novel is a story of two radically different women who are thrown together in a twist of fate. Married to the same man due to cultural beliefs in Afghanistan, they find themselves forming an alliance as they deal with his abuse. Hosseini captures each personality and makes them come alive with the vivid detailing he uses in this novel. The two main characters Mariam and Laila are incredibly distinct characters that have different beliefs and deal with problems in their own manner; at first, this causes hostility between them, but it eventually leads to an inseparable bond in which Mariam acts as a surrogate mother for Laila. As a historical fiction, we see the brutality that women in Afghanistan are forced to encounter every day as the war-torn country is put through poverty and lawlessness. Although historically inaccurate in many parts, the cruelty that the women were forced to face was often too real, and Hosseini was able to portray this within A Thousand Splendid Suns.


An interesting read, but nothing more

Khaled Hosseini is undoubtedly a master storyteller. His voice is distinct and his style is unique; he constantly interchanges character point of views and switches verb tense to make a statement in everything he writes. Fans of The Kite Runner will find that A Thousand Splendid Suns offers much of the same style: it captures the depth of human emotion that inspires both loyalty and love. Although Hosseini delivers much of the same characteristics which have made him so popular, next to his former bestseller, The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns just doesn’t seem to be up to par. In places, the story is too predictable as his theme of ‘good versus evil’ seems too
Khaled Hosseini
extreme, making his ending seem similar to a typical Disney story ending – in other words, sappy and sentimental. The characters, although incredibly real, were also predictable; Laila is the idealistic beautiful, young woman who represents the future, and more modern generation of women with a more liberal view on education and religion. Mariam represents the past generation, as pressure from society around her and its perception of women shapes her decisions and life. Of course, there is a clash between Laila and Mariam as the different ideals meet for the first time; however, they are able to work out a compromise and live together peacefully. A Thousand Splendid Suns is a book that is interesting at best, with moments of distinction that truly captures the audience – otherwise, there doesn’t seem to be very much real value within its pages. It seems to be only skin-deep as historically, it is poorly researched with many inaccurate, as well as biased, ‘facts’ were put into the book. Overall, although the book was a fast-paced read which I enjoyed in some parts, it was lukewarm and in no comparison to Hosseini’s first bestseller, The Kite Runner.

Author Biography

Khaled Hosseini is an Afghanistan-American who was born in 1965 in Kabul, Afghanistan. He and his family moved to Paris in 1976, then the United States in 1980 as refugees seeking asylum from the bloody coup that the communists had initiated in his home country. Having settled in San Jose, California, he and his family were forced to subsist on welfare and food stamps until his father was able to settle down and support the family. He graduated from the University of California, San Diego with an M.D., and practiced medicine until a year and a half after publishing his first best seller, The Kite Runner. He currently lives in California with his family.


Interview with Khaled