A Thousand Splendid Suns

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There is only one, only one skill a woman like you and me needs in life, and they don't teach it in school. Only one skill. And it's this: tahamul. Endure.
Nana, to her daughter Mariam

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a 2007 novel written by Khaled Hosseini. The story follows the lives of two Afghan women, Mariam and Laila, and how they eventually intertwine together, spanning from the 1960s to 2003.

After her mother's suicide, Mariam, a lowly harami is sent by her rich father to marry Rasheed, a shoemaker and businessman living in Kabul. She at first tries to get used to her new life, but after having multiple miscarriages, she is made miserable by Rasheed's growing abuse. Years later, in 1987, the story moves to Laila, a girl who lives down the street from Mariam and Rasheed. When Laila is 15, her house is blown up by a rocket and she is taken in by Mariam and Rasheed. She then marries Rasheed, who is eager for a pretty young woman, as his second wife so she can pass her unborn child by her childhood friend and (supposedly) dead love, Tariq, as his. However, after giving birth to a daughter, Aziza, and eventually a son, Zalmai, things go down fast between the newlyweds. After some initial friction, Mariam and Laila eventually become best friends and confidantes, united against their common adversary, their abusive and manipulative husband. It culminates in Mariam killing Rasheed with a shovel trying to protect Laila during a fight.

The book is divided into four parts: The first details Mariam's early life, the second details Laila's early life, the third details their lives together under Rasheed, and the fourth describes Laila's life after Mariam is executed for Rasheed's murder.

You might need some tissues.


Tropes used in A Thousand Splendid Suns include: