1. “One could not count the moons that shimmers on her roofs, Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.”
The title of the book, A Thousand Splendid Suns, comes from the 17th century poem ‘Kabul’ written by Saib-e-Tabrizi. Did you like the literary and cultural reference? Did you want to find out more about the poem and Kabul?
2. Did you enjoy learning about Afghanistan and the political regime changes from the book?
3. “It’s our lot in life, Mariam. Women like us. We endure. It’s all we have.” (page 18)
Mariam’s mother Nana says to ‘endure’. What does she mean by that? What does that say about her life for her to teach her daughter that? Do you agree with that? How does Mariam and Laila endurance differ? How do each endure?
4. What sort of relationship did Mariam have with her mother Nana? Why did Nana hang herself when Mariam left to find her father Jalil?
5. Do you think Jalil loved Mariam? Why? What did the three gifts he bequeathed her indicate?
6. Do you think that Laila was a strong character or a weak character? Why?
7. Which character did you relate to?
8. Why do you think it took Mariam and Laila a long time before they become friends? What happened that helped changed their relationship?
9. The book contained many themes such as illegitimacy, suffering and perseverance, shame and reputation, love, loyalty, belonging, female friendship to name a few. Which theme impacted you the most?
10. Were you surprise that the rights of women in Afghanistan were better under the communist era?
11. What did you think about Rasheed making both Mariam and Laila wear a burqa? Was it out of cruelty or control?
12. Did it surprise you that Tariq returned? Were you surprised by Rasheed’s treachery?
13. Which part of the book surprised you the most?
14. After reading A Thousand Splendid Suns, who will you pass it on to?
Enhance Your Book Club:
Check out Study Guide: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini for detailed chapter summaries and analysis. Also included are themes, quotes and essay topics to enhance your discussions.
Check out the Q & A video of Khaled Hosseini talking about A Thousand Splendid Suns.