I also read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini over my vacation. With a title like that, you might think it was a science fiction book. In fact, I believe it's considered mainstream but I think it would have made an excellent fantasy: if Afghanistan was another planet. Why do I say that? It has excellent world-building--just enough is explained. If you haven't read it, it does have some similarities with The Kite Runner, in that it is set in the same country during the same time period, and has two protagonists--one of which is illegitimate. The prose is very nice and the story is quite compelling. I have decided Hosseini is a master of the tear jerker. Some effective ways to tug at readers emotions apparently include a down-and-out person is kind to others, a long-overdue kindness is too late in coming. This book is worth reading to learn how to manipulate readers emotions (which is part of the writers job).
What did you glean from it?