The student news site of Quartz Hill High School

The Ubiquity

The student news site of Quartz Hill High School

The Ubiquity

The student news site of Quartz Hill High School

The Ubiquity

A Thousand Splendid Suns Review

A+Thousand+Splendid+Suns+Review
Picture by Judy Lee

A Thousand Splendid Suns, written by Khaled Hosseini, is a compelling and heartbreaking novel depicting the lives of two women in Afghanistan. The novel is well-known around the world, being the second novel by the best-selling Afghan-American author Hosseini. And, if you’re an AP Literature student at Quartz Hill High School, you also know this book.

This book was assigned to us to read over winter break. My sister, who took the same class a year prior, knew I tended to put off assigned reading until the last minute. So, she told me that if I were to take my time and enjoy reading any required book, it had to be A Thousand Splendid Suns. So, I took her advice and immersed myself in the book.

The novel follows the lives of Mariam and Laila, two women who lived in Afghanistan during troubling times. The primary setting was the city of Kabul from the 1960s to the early 2000s. Mariam and Laila experienced the Soviet Union occupying Afghanistan and the rise of the Taliban. The novel ended shortly after 9/11, with the U.S. invading Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan during this time, men were widely believed to have supreme power over women. Specifically, with the rise of the Taliban, women were stripped of virtually all forms of human rights, including work, education, healthcare, and mobility. They were essentially placed on house arrest–unable to go anywhere without a male family member.

Mariam and Laila represent the common experience of women during these times. Mariam was given away to marry a man, Rasheed, who was three times her age. When she was unable to bear his child, he turned on her. She suffered years of domestic violence, unable to run away or ask for help because she was a woman.

Laila grew up nicely with a father who didn’t marry her off and instead encouraged her to get an education. When her family died, circumstances led to her marrying Rasheed. After a short time, Laila also suffered his abuse. Through hard times, Mariam and Laila found comfort and hope in each other.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is especially impactful in current times. The novel ended with the U.S. invading and establishing a new form of government; it ended with hope for change and growth. But, the U.S. pulled out of Afghanistan in 2021, and the Taliban is taking over yet again. The hope many had, especially for Afghan women, is getting smaller.
This book made me thankful for my life in the U.S. I was born with the ability and chance to be just as good as any man, if not better, and I am constantly surrounded by encouragement and love. A Thousand Splendid Suns was impactful, heartbreaking, and moving, and I’d recommend it to people of any age, race, gender, or background. I also encourage people to check out Afghan relief organizations so that the comfortable life we have here can be shared with people across the world.

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About the Contributors
Sabrina Redifer, Staff Writer
Hello everyone; my name is Sabrina Redifer. I am a senior at QHHS and play varsity golf. This is my second time in Journalism, and again, I’m excited for this opportunity to improve my writing skills and share my opinions and interests. Outside of Journalism, I take AP and honors classes and serve as an officer for CSF, ASU, NHS, and MUN. I volunteer at the AV Medical Center, shadow Kaiser doctors, and I’m also currently pursuing the AP Capstone diploma which includes starting my own research study. I love listening to music, reading, and taking an unhealthy amount of naps. This school year, I plan to finish all my college applications, ace my classes, pass the AP tests, and write engaging articles for our school newspaper.
Judy Lee, Staff Writer
Hello everyone! I’m Judy, a senior at Quartz Hill. I joined journalism during eleventh grade and decided to join again because I enjoyed it last year. I’ve been a part of the Quartz Hill Cheer team for four years. I am so excited and not so patiently waiting for all the events and games.  One fact about me: I have played the violin for over eight years. I was the concertmaster of the West Coast Classical Orchestra last year. I am aiming for that position again this year when I audition soon. Playing as first chair last year was fantastic, so I hope to experience it again! The first few months of senior year will be busy because of college applications and other things, but I hope it’s fun and worthwhile. I’m glad to be returning to journalism and writing for The Ubiquity!