Analysis and Review of “A Thousand Splendid Suns” – Khaled Hosseini

Areesha Riaz

Books come in different genres and offer different sensations for the reader. A book can also be informative and used to supplement one’s knowledge about the specific topic discussed. A Thousand Splendid Suns takes the reader to a rollercoaster of different emotions. Hosseini supposedly wrote this book to shed light on the patriarchal nature of Afghanistan’s society. Patriarchy refers to a society where males are considered the superior gender. Set in Herat, this novel discusses the situations in Afghanistan over a course of 40 years. From the Soviet expansion to Islamic fundamentalism, the reader is able to learn the evolution of Afghanistan’s freedom and society, overall. Mariam and Laila, the female protagonists, struggle to find their place in a society where they are considered inferior and “shameful”. Mariam is an illegitimate child and Laila is a young orphan. Together they overcome: the brutality of polygamy as they share a violent husband, the turmoil of war, the terrifying obligations of the Taliban and the bitter reality of being a woman in a male-dominated country. Hosseini utilizes real-life experiences to demonstrate the historical relevance of the book. He also comes across as an excellent storyteller that captivates the audience with his detailed descriptions. If I were to rate this novel, I would give it 5 stars because of its historical accuracy and intriguing subplots. World History students should read this novel to prepare for the course beforehand.