This book was one of my summer read; The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I have heard good things about this book, it’s even been made into a movie, and I just finally got around to reading it.
I still don’t know a whole lot about Afghanistan as a country and as a culture but this book provided me a peek into the people, the culture and the country; and I found that some things in life really are universal no matter where we are from and how we got there. Kite Runner is the story of Amir, a privileged boy growing up in Afghanistan and his relationship with Hassan, the son of their family servant. Even with their difference in status, they grow up together, nursing from the same amah’s breast, sharing toys, stories and their favorite game, kite running. To me, this book further illustrates how the things we do, the decisions we make, even during childhood, can deeply affect us for the rest of our lives.
Amir, because he is young, a little spoiled and selfish, and generally just as most children are, makes a fateful decision that betrays his loyalty to his best friend, Hassan. This decision and Amir’s ensuing shame causes him to create a rift between them that he will regret for the rest of his life.
And just when you see an easy window to redemption, the story takes another twist and unexpected turn that keeps you holding your breath. It continues with the adult Amir, now living in America; his status drastically different from his life in Afghanistan. When an opportunity to make up for his past mistake arises, he pays the steep price and pushes forward towards redemption. He goes back to war torn Afghanistan to rescue Hassan’s son, who, it turns out is really his nephew. Even at the end when you can finally exhale, you can’t help but hold your breath just a little and wish for a happy ending.
This is a must read for anyone who loves a good story. I would let my 15 and 16 year old daughters read it just because I think they are mature enough to handle some of the graphic scenes in the novel and would benefit from the cultural and historical references.