Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Kite Runner

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is one of the most moving, powerful books that I've read in a long time. It is the story about two young boys growing up in Afghanistan, drawn together by proximity yet separated by class and ethnicity.

The book is narrated by Amir, who reflects back in time to his relationship with his father's servant's son, Hassan. Amir and Hassan grow up together in the cozy, bustling city of Kabul before the Soviet takeover. One is rich and the other is poor. One is Sunni and the other is Sh'ia. All they have in common is their age and the fact that they are both motherless boys. Amir makes a serious and tragic decision at the age of 12 that will haunt him for the rest of his life. As Amir loses his innocence and respect for himself, so does Afghanistan collapse under rule by the Russians, and later by tyranny from the Taliban.

The Kite Runner is a beautiful, poignant, dramatic coming-of-age story that is about friendship, loyalty, betrayal, forgiveness and ultimately, redemption. It explores the complicated relationships that the Sunnis have with the Hazaras, and the even more tangled connection between fathers and sons.

This wonderful novel is currently ranked as number two on Amazon.com. Here's hoping that it will upstage Dan Brown's da Vinci Code, which was alright but more hype than substance.

If you have any books that you would like to recommend, please sign my guestbook.

Sigrid Macdonald

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