Is Love a Sacrifice or a Choice? Book Review of A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini

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A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini is a heart-warming tale of two Afghani women, an amazing story fueled by love, hatred, power, domestic abuse and most importantly the quality of holding love more as a decision, a choice rather than as a sacrifice.

You are not the darkness you endured. You are the light that refused to surrender.

John Mark Green

A book you may have heard rave reviews about for quite some time now, I am sure. I have read The Kite Runner which is his first and yet A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini is my favourite title for well, you know what? Shedding off a little bit of myself, crying my heart out, sifting the pieces of my broken self (yes, I break into a million pieces every time I read it) and yet picking myself up every single time yet again, basking in its enormity. 

Wondering what’s wrong with me today? I just thought of sharing some titles with you on a timely basis which make me feel “alive” because of the pain they project, the emotions evoked and the manner in which they make me experience life in its darker,” real forms. Yes, there are titles which truly are a plateau for me to retire on, to pause and get back to the atrocity called life, bask in the cacophony of life’s hypocritic paradoxes and yet emerge back again, only to realize that we all are but living and breathing in one big ball of pain, our minds and the sinews on our skin taut with worry, trepidation, anxiety, fear and most importantly, the hope as well as the tough spirit too alongside our inherent human nature. There are several powerful ideas which appeal to and make a narrative compelling especially if they border around or deal with us as the core subject of the entire discussion. 

Well, yes, I am a person who truly believes in what I call enlightening reading sometimes aka a type of reading which does much by way of letting me know what and how the human mind works in its ultimate design and what is exactly that we aspire to be or achieve. We, the humans who do or do not wish to be there at a certain place, in a particular scenario and yet yearn for the same, secretly. What is with us guys, peeps?

Domestic abuse, every single time I read it, think about it, I always feel that somewhere the oppression, the subjugation, the silent suffering is something that seems to be running amok through the veins of the female subsect and how! A prominent theme of this book, it also describes war descriptions as well as the treatment of Afghani women in marriages which are not the best place to be in exactly. 

Split in a dual narrative, the story has Mariam on one hand who lives on the outskirts of Herat with her mother, waiting anxiously for weekly visits from her wealthy father. An illegitimate child, she faces prejudice from the family of her father and also from her own mother. As the story proceeds and she senses the void which forms the core of her father’s love, witnesses her mother’s suicide, is forced to marry a man 20 years older and that too, at the tender age of 15, to Rasheed, a man who is kind and yet grumpy and old fashioned. So, I should have felt a natural inclination of hatred towards him, what with the continual cycle of miscarriages that Mariam seemed to be having (I knew there had to be domestic abuse coming into the picture somewhere). And yet, even after I tore up, breaking down several times and coming to terms with Mariam’s plight, deep down somewhere I could not help but feel sorry for Rasheed, given that he too, had a past that was laced with sorrow as much as Mariam’s.

Then there is Laila, an innocent young girl with a war-torn family, orphaned she too has agreed to marry Rasheed. Leaving aside her true love, she chose to enter a marriage which was a living hell. But yet that is how a fate of a woman is, ain’t it?

 Yes, the stories of these two wives of Rasheed will make you marvel at the strength of their love even in desperate times.

I was absolutely stoked by how well Hosseini had portrayed the entire plethora of information about Afghanistan’s situation. The best part? Well, Hosseini put me in the city, neighbourhood, literally the skin of the characters, TBH. Yes, I was wanting to shout myself hoarse at Laila to hush up so that she would avoid another beating, I wanted to protect Mariam from harm as she underwent so much pain in those multiple miscarriages, I also wanted to kick Rasheed sometimes as I sincerely felt that he was a despicable brute sometimes. 

To summarise, Mariam and Laila’s relationship with life, a war-torn country and its travesties, and the hard-hitting manner in which they fight them while honouring the faith they believe in will cause you to pause and reflect on the complexities of life. Khalid Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns shatter me into 1000 pieces, but I love being torn and rebounding every time I read it.

Related: Raman Agarwal’s Book Crochet Delves Into Mental Health and the Stigma Associated With It

Overall, this one by Hosseini here, I can actually count my blessings through this one as this gave me the travesty of those women who live in the conditions described in this one and I must say aren’t we blessed to have the support, the opportunities we have in life today? Yes, we outta thank our stars and also truly start believing in ourselves as well as the whole gender Status quo thing. As far as this one is concerned, a story of pure diamonds shining through the surface of a cruel life, the way these two women fight it and rise above their circumstances, and their strength and dignity form the core of this wonderful book.

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Neelam Sharma
Author: Khalid Hosseini



Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed. Nearly two decades later, a friendship grows between Mariam and a local teenager, Laila, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. When the Taliban take over, life becomes a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, and lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with startling heroism.

So, I hope you guys liked my book review of A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini, with you all, wanting to just vent my thoughts out for you guys a bit.

Do let me know if you would like me to read any other particular book and get back to you all. Stay tuned with us right here at Booxoul, for the best in the field of entertainment, lifestyle, tech and gadgets, finance, education, fun, and all things bookish.

Adios Amigos!

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