A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Book 38/30.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I almost never reread books but I decided to change that because I own wayyy too many amazing books to only read them once.

This was my second time reading A Thousand Splendid Suns, the first time being in 2015 as part of my first ever structured reading challenge c/o Popsugar. It was one of the 52!!!!! books I read that year and going into it again I did not remember the story much, I only remembered that it was verrrryyy sad. Turns out it was even sadder than I remembered 🥺🥺🥺

Everything about this book, other than the ending, was unbearably sad. The lives of Mariam and Laila, the two protagonists in the story, were devastated not just by civil war and later the Taliban, but by the men in their lives, the latter being the case even more so for Mariam. At the beginning of the book Mariam’s mother said to her, “It’s our lot in life, Mariam. Women like us. We endure. It’s all we have.” And endure she did. How my heart broke for Mariam 💔💔💔😭😭😭

When I first read this in 2015 I rated it 4 stars as back then it was next to impossibility for me to give 5 stars to a super sad book. I could not imagine saying “it was amazing” yet the book was just sooo goddamn sad. But in the seven years since I first read A Thousand Splendid Suns I have gotten better at reviewing and am able to rate a book 5 stars even though I found it unbearably sad. Case in point: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate.

So on that note I am rating this 5 stars this time around (even though Goodreads doesn’t allow me to change my 2015 rating 🙄😤) because it was amazing. It took me 3 days to read this both times and when I was not reading this I was thinking about it and could not wait to get back to it. The characters all felt incredibly real and the ones I was rooting for I was REALLY rooting for, whereas the ones I hated I REALLY FUCKING hated. Rasheed in particular was very triggering for me as he reminded me of my father who was incredibly violent to my mother. Oh how my mother, just like Mariam, endured 😥😥😥

I also learnt a lot about Afghanistan from this, and like I say all the time, I love when books educate me on something I had no idea about, or expand my knowledge on something I was only aware of at a surface level, and this was no exception.

View all my reviews

** A guide to ratings **
1 star – did not like it
2 stars – it was okay
3 stars – liked it
4 stars – really liked it
5 stars – it was amazing

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