"The Kite Runner"

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

I was surprised by this book. I shouldn't have been because everything I read about it was positive, glowing even. I've been looking at it on my shelf for a few years but hesitated to read it because of the setting. I knew it was about Afghanistan in the years leading up to the revolution and it seems to me that every story I read, or watch, set in that part of the world sooner or later ends in some kind of torture scene and, frankly, I can't take any more. I can't take reading it, watching it or hearing the screams. Who ever decided that torture was good entertainment? I hate it and I'm done. Fortunately, a friend read this and told me how good it was so I took the plunge. She was right; it's an incredible story, strong and gritty, but beautiful, and no torture scenes.

     Amir grew up in Kabul in comfortable circumstances with a successful father and a nice home. On the property was a small hut where their servants, Ali and his son Hassan, lived. Hassan and Amir were boys together and became the best of friends, as far as their positions in society would allow. It is the story of their relationship that sets the stage for everything else that happens.

When the revolution comes, Amir and his father escape to America with only what they can carry and must begin to adjust to a completely different kind of life. Amir grows into manhood, gets an education and establishes a life of his own, but everything he does is overshadowed by events that happened when he and Hassan were boys. In time, a situation arises requiring Amir to make the dangerous trip back. There he will come face to face with his past and perhaps, as a friend says, find "a way to be good again."

This is a powerfully touching story. It's beautiful and heartbreaking, sad and hopeful, a story of betrayal and redemption that I don't think I'll ever forget. I couldn't recommend it more highly.   


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