A Thousand Splendid Suns – Journal Entry

Written by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a daunting novel that gives its reader an insight into the barbarous lives of the Afghans – the discrimination, social inequality, gender inequality, political issues and countless more. It unravels the simple nature of human beings; that life circumstances may alter people’s characteristics, thoughts, and social standings. The book spans a period of over fifty years, from the 1960s to 2003 and focuses on the lives and relationships of two Afghan women – Mariam and Laila. Albeit Mariam and Laila start off being the worst of enemies, after living under the same roof for months and together weathering their husband’s harsh criticisms, they become intimate friends that are more like sisters.

“One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.” This refers to the thousands of Afghan women who are trapped and estranged from the society in which they live in. They are constrained to remain inside their homes and can only leave if escorted by a male family member. Moreover, they have to succumb to men’s every desire and yearning, as if their only existence is to satisfy the nation of men. On the flip side, this quotation encourages women to see the splendour and hope in their lives beneath all of the confinement – the moons that shimmer on the rooftops and thousand splendid suns that hide behind the walls. I would recommend this novel to readers who wish to read the complexities of life in Afghanistan and the vulnerable role of women. However, this might not be the best pick for readers who take pleasure in reading fantasies, science-fictions and thrillers, since it consists of real-life situations that mirror the harsh reality.

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