A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini | The Antithesis CollectiveKhaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns is about two women, Mariam and Laila, who live in Afghanistan and whose lives become entangled because of the war. The former is from an impoverished family born out of wedlock and was sold to a shoemaker to be his bride. The latter is from a middle class family, is well educated and was married off to the shoemaker as his second wife. The novel is divided into four parts: each character’s early life, how their relationship developed from rivalry blossoming into friendship, and their fight for liberty. The story mainly focused on the relationship and the struggle of the two women for freedom – freedom from a long period of domestic abuse and freedom from the war-torn country they are living in.

From a reader’s point of view, I can say this book will make you cry and smile as you go about reading it. Hosseini makes vivid descriptions of the occurrences and situations the characters are in. Hosseini touches on the universal human emotions and makes the readers feel part of the story. The characters are made real by having the readers feel what it’s like to be in that very same situation. He also makes note of the war that happened during the time period and makes viewers realize the atrocities of the war in Afghanistan that has affected families from different walks of life.

The story revolves around the two main protagonists. Mariam and Laila come from different backgrounds. Mariam is an illegitimate daughter by a wealthy man through a servant; because of this she is shamed all her life. Her father comes to visit her once a week. When her mother died she was sold by his father to a shoemaker as his bride. Laila, on the other hand, is a beautiful and intelligent girl from a well educated family. Mariam and Laila’s life become entangled when Laila becomes the second wife of the shoemaker. The story is full of tears and joy as Mariam and Laila share a bond of friendship as well as a life of domestic abuse in the hands of their common husband. The story presents sudden events that change the course of an emotional albeit predictable story without warning. A Thousand Splendid Suns is a must read for people who are suckers for tumultuous lives of people in a chaotic setting with a happy ending.