Friday, May 06, 2011

Book Review - The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner - by Khaled Hosseini

This book captivated me from the beginning. Khaled Hosseini takes us into a rare glimpse of dynamics, politics and relationships from within an Afghan family that I've never seen before. He tells a tale of two boys growing up together in Kabul in the 1970's, before the Russian invasion. Amir, a privileged son of a wealthy business man and Hassan, the son of Ali who is Amir and his father's servant. While the boys are close, social differences and pressures pray on Amir to often mistreat Hassan, yet the loyalty instilled in Hassan by his father toward Amir never wavers. Hosseini's storytelling is amazing as he recites his tale through the eyes of Amir as if we are reading a Memoir written by Amir later in his lifetime. Amir is guilt-ridden after he decidedly chooses "not to act" while he witnesses a horrific sex crime being committed against Hassan by some local boys. It is this moment of inaction that Amir carries with him for the rest of his childhood and into his adult life that shapes his character and cements the truth about himself that he has always known. Amir and his father flee Kabul (at the beginning of the Russian invasion) when Amir is 18 and eventually make it to America where both learn a new way of life and start over. They make a life for themselves in Fremont, California where Amir goes to school, falls in love and marries just before his father passes away. Amir and his wife are unable to have children and the couple eventually move to San Francisco where the are able to escape some of the scrutiny they feel from family and members of the community. Amir has become a successful writer and the two have accepted their childless life together. One day Amir receives a letter from his father's dearest friend asking him to come to Pakistan, saying only that there was still time to make things good again. Amir makes the journey and in the process sees his life come full circle. The details of life in Kabul both before the invasion and again after the Taliban had taken over are riveting. Descriptions of the streets and scenery are both gritty and beautiful at the same time. This is an amazing story of faith, loyalty, redemption that takes place in a country where most people in the West have very little understanding or insight. I was intrigued and inspired. ~Peace and Good Reads

No comments: