Synopsis: Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir’s choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.
I was first introduced to Khaled Hosseini in my Appreciation of Literature class senior year of high school (2009-2010). A Thousand Splendid Suns was required reading material for that class, and we were supposed to read a couple of chapters each night, but I ended up devouring the book… Just like I did the moment I started The Kite Runner.
It’s nearly impossible to read a few chapters of Hosseini’s books, then set the book down and go about your day because his stories and characters grab you and pull you into the book. Everyone felt so real, like they were a living breathing person right in front of me. I felt their pain, anger, happiness, and suffering. The story is so heavy and so emotional, I constantly wanted to know what was going to happen next, even when I was overwhelmed and on the verge of tears.
This is such a beautiful and heartbreaking story that will make you think about your life choices and values, and really put your life into perspective. In the west, we take life for granted every day. We’re so lucky not to experience the levels of brutality, and the terror living in war-torn countries that the Middle East has faced, and still faces today.
My favourite quote from the book.
“There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft. When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal a wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. There is no act more wretched than stealing.”