Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday=Book Review Time--Splendid indeed

Up for today:  A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Ranjith Wijewardene

Why I bought it? It is by Khaled Hosseini. Originally I had thought it was the sequel to The Kite Runner, and I had loved that book. I realized it wasn't when I read inside the front cover, but I still wanted to read it because I enjoyed the author.

Art by Roxanne Duguay from flickr

Synopsis:  Set in Afghanistan, the story chronicles the lives of two women who are brought together by circumstances. They must face terrible times and losses. It is a view of female life behind the burka as well as with it.  It has nothing to do with the story in The Kite Runner. They only share the same backdrop and historical setting. Sorry, but I don't want to give too much away. Part of what I enjoyed in reading this one was discovering the story.

What I thought? As much as I liked The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns surpassed it. The characters are so well formed and real that I was a part of their lives while I was reading and even still. The setting is so compelling. I learned a lot of history but didn't feel like I was getting a history lesson. It was interwoven and integral to the story. If you liked Hosseini's first novel, I'm sure you will love the 2nd. I didn't find it as disturbing as the first, and I liked the characters more. (It could be because I'm a woman.)

My Rating: ***** out of 5

Cleanness Score: 6 out of 10, for violence and situational things--e.g. intimacy 

32 comments:

Silicon Valley Diva said...

SO glad you did a review of this book. I bought "A Thousand Splendid Suns" but it has sat, unread for a few months now. In fact, I admit it got buried in the deluge of books that litter my nightstand.
I was under the impression also, that I wouldn't care for it as much as "The Kite Runner". Nice to hear that you enjoyed it more.
Guess I'll search for it in my stack and read it!

Lady Glamis said...

Hey, thanks! But I still need to read The Kite Runner. I wish we lived closer. Do you buy all these books or get them at the library?

PJ Hoover said...

My husband really enjoyed both books, though I have yet to pick them up.
Great review, BTW!

lotusgirl said...

Diva, You definitely want to dig this one out and give it a shot. It's incredibly moving.

Glam, I rarely get books at the library. I feel like I should, but it doesn't fit in with the way I read. So my house is overflowing with books. You don't have to read The Kite Runner first. This book stands on its own.

PJ, Thanks! This is the kind of book that men will enjoy even though it is mostly about 2 women.

Jody Hedlund said...

Thanks for the review! I'm building my reading list for after I finish my WIP. I'll have to add this to it!

Cindy said...

Thanks for the review. It's been on my wish list but I was waiting to hear more about it.

Litgirl01 said...

I liked the Kite Runner. Ugh! I have such a long reading list. I will go to my grave with it methinks! lol

Tess said...

I was too squeemish for Kite Runner (just couldn't get past the first violent scene). I know, I know - everyone told me it's a wonderful book, but I never did pick it back up. Kind of the same response as "All The Lovely Bones". Excellent writing, from what I understand, but too graphic for my weak belly. Maybe that's why I write novels for children.....

lotusgirl said...

Jody, Yeah, those wips can get in the way of our reading.

Cindy, Glad I could help.

Litgirl, I have a super long TBR list too. I keep working on it, but then I keep adding to it. I think it will stay super long forever.

Tess, I can understand that. That's part of why I include the Cleanness score on my reviews. It helps those who don't deal with that stuff well to avoid it. That said, this one was not quite as harsh to me as the Kite Runner.

Kelly H-Y said...

Thank you for the wonderful review of this book ... I've been wanting to read it for some time now, and now I know it will be a great investment of time!!! Sounds amazing!

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

I think you've talked me into it. It's going on my wishlist. :) Thanks for the great review.

lotusgirl said...

Kelly, It is amazing.

Robin, You're welcome. I hope you like it.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

I haven't read that one yet even though it's been on our shelves waiting. Now I must do it.

Windsong said...

I hadn't heard of this one. I'm going to have to look into it. It sounds like a great read. On the scale of blushability, where would it rate? 0 being no blush and 10 being perma-blush?

lotusgirl said...

Becky, I think you will enjoy it. It really opened my eyes to women in Afghanistan.

Windsong, My cleanness score rates the adult themes. I put it at about 6 out of 10. It's not obscene--more matter of fact.

Krista Phillips said...

Very nice review! I'll have to check it out:-)

lotusgirl said...

Krista, I hope you like it.

The Things We Carried said...

My son said the first was the best book he ever read. I must get the second, read it, and mail it to him!

lotusgirl said...

TTWC, that sounds like a great plan. I bet he will love it, since he enjoyed the first one so much.

Pen Pen said...

I just read this and loved it too! I think that the women in countries like this are living lives that we never see. It's like a closed world, and seeing "behind the veil" is essential to understand them.
I loved the descriptions too--they were so much better than what was in 'Kite Runner'!

giddymomof6 said...

Ooh! I love your blog! I'm so glad you review all these books. It gives us moms/writers/hermits an opportunity to hear about books that we wouldn't have ever known about otherwise. I'm going to have to check out this author!
Thanks again
Jenni

lotusgirl said...

Pen Pen, So true. I think that's part of why I enjoyed it so much. I was able to see into their closed world and understand them much better. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Jenni, Yea! I'm happy that I can help. Like I said with Pen Pen, it was like Hosseini opened up a window into a world I'd never seen before and shed some light on it.

Justus M. Bowman said...

Lois,

You read a lot! News to you? Probably not. I mostly came to warn you against showing off your ankles, you bad, bad lady.

lotusgirl said...

thanks for the warning, Justus! I'm a rebel. What can I say? Actually, that comment works well for these poor women in their burkas.

Alexa said...

Thanks for the review I keep meaning to pick this up. I really enjoyed the Kite Rummer although I felt the first two thirds were far stronger than the end.

This sounds great though.

lotusgirl said...

Alexa, I think you'll like the way this one unwinds itself at the end.

T. Anne said...

I read this book, I remember feeling he really knew how to weave a tale that gripped our emotions.

lotusgirl said...

T. Anne. that he does. I was really surprised at how well he wrote women.

Jenn Johansson said...

Wow! My reading list is growing to insurmountable heights. :) You just added to it. :P

lotusgirl said...

Jenn, I'm glad I could contribute to the record breaking heights.

Mariah Irvin said...

I just read this book this weekend and loved it! It's so intense and I feel so sympathetic towards Mariam and Laila.

lotusgirl said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it.