Monday, August 17, 2009

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

I'm glad my book club selected this book a few years back or I would never have read it. The subject matter--Afghanistan, war, rape--turned me way off. But the book is really more about childhood, friendship, American immigrants, and forgiveness than those other things. Honestly! In spite of the war-torn, brutal setting, the book glows with positivity and hope. Amir, a well-to-do child in Kabul, is best friends with the lower class Hassan. They both enjoy participating in kite races, an unfamiliar pastime to me, but apparently popular in that part of the world. The beauty and grace of kite flying strongly contrasts with the brutality and bullying going on all around the boys. Unfortunately, Hassan falls victim to a brutal attack, and Amir ends their friendship, a move that deeply haunts him into adulthood. Quite a bit of the novel discusses Amir's life in America--how his family adjusts, how he decides to become a writer. America is the country in which Amir matures and grows ready to face his past in Afghanistan. He does return to his homeland to face his demons, and he wins, in every way. The Kite Runner is a novel about triumphing over the evil that lives within and without.

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