ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Thousand Splendid Suns - by Khaled Hosseini: Read it if You Care About Women's Rights

Updated on November 7, 2016
Gloriousconfusion profile image

I've always been a keen reader and have so many books that I couldn't hope to read them all in my lifetime. I love being surrounded by them

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini - My Book Review

A Thousand Splendid Suns is an outstanding book, very sensitively written by an excellent story teller.

It is mainly about the bleak situation for women in Afghanistan, where polygamy and oppression of women is the norm, and it tells the story of two women married to the same brutal man. They did not have any choice but were pushed into forced marriage, and they seemingly had no option but to submit to his cruelty, with devastating results.

Within a year of publication, this book was the best-selling novel in the UK.

The Position of Women in Afghanistan


Another thread running through the book is a love story, with all the difficulties of living in a faction-torn city, Kabul

Khaled Husseini is a very sensitive, poetic writer, and this book is a masterpiece and modern classic. He doesn't criticize or lecture, but just lets the sad story unfold. It is deeply moving, and unforgettable.

Within a year of publication, this book was the best-selling novel in the UK.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini - A Great Read, a Brilliant Gift

A Thousand Splendid Suns
A Thousand Splendid Suns
it is a work of art, sensitive, observant, a picture of what it is to be a woman in Afghanistan, but also the story of love, hate, despair and redemption. You'll love it. This book was, deservedly, a best seller in the UK - a real page-turner and completely engrossing.

How quietly we endure all that falls upon us

— Khaled Husseini

How do You Rate it? - Good, bad or indifferent?

You might find this book depressing, maybe you prefer gentle romance or humour.

Was this book too haunting for you?

On a scale of 1-7, what did you REALLY think?

See results

The Full Quote - from A Thousand Splendid Suns

Mariam lay on the couch, hands tucked between her knees, watched the whirlpool of snow twisting and spinning outside the window. She remembered Nana saying once that each snowflake was a sigh heaved by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the world. That all the sighs drifted up the sky, gathered into clouds, then broke into tiny pieces that fell silently on the people below. As a reminder of how people like us suffer, she'd said. How quietly we endure all that falls upon us.

Google Maps - Afghanistan

Here's where the action in A Thousand Splendid Suns takes place:
Kabul Afghanistan

get directions

And the Mountains Echoed - Khaled Hussein - This is his more recent book, published in 2013

And the Mountains Echoed
And the Mountains Echoed
Amazon Book of the Month in May 2013. This is a brief synopsis: "Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most."

Below are Some Videos About Women's Rights in Afghanistan - Rights? What rights?

Some thought-provoking films from YouTube about what it's like to be a woman in Afghanistan.

Basically, the message is:

If you want to be safe

  • stay subservient to all males in the household,
  • do the housework,
  • do whatever your husband and any of his family tell you to do,
  • stay covered from head to toe (including your nose and mouth) whatever the weather, even in the burning tropical heat, so that you don't attract attention,
  • don't talk to strange men or any men who are not part of your family,
  • provide sex on demand to your husband whether or not you are willing,
  • and, of course, never get physical with any man to whom you are not married.

If you follow this mode of conduct, you will probably still get beaten up, but might usually avoid serious injury, such as

  • public "judicial" stoning,
  • public whipping,
  • and private assault such as having acid or boiling water thrown over you.

Marital rape is not a crime and violence against women is normalized by the fact that men have a right to chastise women by beating them.

Oh, and I nearly forgot - if you bring shame on your family, by refusing to marry the man they have chosen or sold you to, or if you have a relationship with a man, or behave in any way which could be viewed as unseemly, your family might feel morally bound to murder you. Oddly enough, this is considered to be an honour killing and is socially acceptable.

Just don't try to run away, or it will be the worse for you.

You Can Leave a Comment or Even Write a Poem Here:

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I haven't read the book but thank you for the terrific review - Being a free woman all of my life it's still horrible to read about women who are not free to be who they are - I'll take this opportunity to remind only the oppressive men of saying I once heard...'every man had to pass through a woman to get here' -

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I haven't read this book, but years ago I read "Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arab" Jean Sasson, and "Escape" by Carolyn Jessop, who was a former Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Texas (U.S.) and escaped the cult with her children.

    • lovedislife profile image

      Rema T V 

      6 years ago

      Hi Diana,

      What a great book! You have written a good review too. Having read Hosseini's 'Kite Runner', I wanted to read his second book and did read it. Cried more than once - very powerful and emotional read- as I turned the pages fast and was shocked by the speed with which I completed it. Just couldn't put the book down (voted for your 'unputdownable' response in the poll) and this has happened in a long time. Waiting to get my hands on his third book too -I am sure Hosseini will not disappoint his readers. His books have a powerful story line and he knows how to keep his readers'

    • flycatcherrr profile image


      6 years ago

      I too tried to weigh in on the duel, above, but the system didn't seem to want to accept my comment.

      What I was trying to say was just how much I enjoyed this novel. It's a remarkable work - I couldn't stop turning the pages, wanting to find out what would happen to the two female leading characters next.

      Funny, I put off reading it for ages and ages, feeling that it might be too much, too overwhelming to read a story set in Afghanistan in such a difficult time. Sorry now that I didn't read it earlier (which will teach me, perhaps, to listen in future to my mother's book recommendations!) as it's one I will want to read again, more than once.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      I tried participating in the duel, but as happens so often, this one would not let me. I very much enjoyed the book, despite the subject matter. Hosseini kept me turning pages fast.

      Even though I have long known of the oppression women face daily in Afghanistan and elsewhere, I was overwhelmed with the brutality and total lack of freedom these two heroines endured. Hosseini portrayed the women's stories very well.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for this suggestion. I share a list of Books Worth Reading on Pinterest. Hoping maybe I'll get a chance to read them But if I don't get around to reading them, why shouldn't others know about them so they can enjoy them?

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 

      9 years ago

      Was a fantastic book and enjoyed your review.

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 

      9 years ago

      Was a fantastic book and enjoyed your review.

    • CruiseReady profile image


      9 years ago from East Central Florida

      Thank you for sharing this... the plight of Afghan women needs more attention!

    • norma-holt profile image


      9 years ago

      Great lens and lots of important points here.

    • CozyKitty profile image


      9 years ago

      stopped by briefly - will be back when i've finished the book ... (beautiful lens btw)


    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image


      9 years ago

      I have never heard of it, but will look for it now. I have lensrolled it to A Tribute to the Women of Afghanistan which has a review of the movie Osama about a girl who had to pretend to be a boy so she and her mother wouldn't starve.

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 

      9 years ago from United Kingdom

      I must buy this book right away. You have sold it to me.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)