In Afghanistan 1975, the local kite running tournament is the biggest event of the year. Amir, and his loyal friend Hassan, are determined to win it. Yet neither of the boys anticipate what will happen to Hassan after the tournament – an event that is to completely disrupt their friendship and lives.
After the Russians invade, Amir and his family are forced to leave Afghanistan and flee to America, where they build a new Western life. Just when Amir thinks he can forget his past, an old friend reaches out to him and offers him something he has been longing for all his life. Will Amir risk his life and return to upturned Afghanistan under Taliban rule, all in the name of atonement?
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini has been on my TBR shelf for years, but I always seemed to delay reading it. I’d seen the film a few years ago, and all I remember is THAT particular scene scarred me for ages. But, I’ve seen so many amazing things about the book that I decided that it was time to read it.
This is probably one of the most moving books I have ever read. It’s set both before and after the war in Afghanistan, and Hosseini captures the impact the war had on a once peaceful country so brilliantly. It’s hard to even recognise that pre and post-war Afghanistan are even the same place, and to think that this is some people’s reality is really difficult to come to terms with.
The novel is told from Amir’s perspective, and at first, I found it really hard to like him, mainly because of the way he treated Hassan, both before and after the incident. However, once I reminded myself that Amir was just a child when this happened, it becomes clear that he was naïve, confused and flawed, and his actions haunt him for the rest of his life.
I won’t dwell too much on Hassan, simply because I’m not sure I can fully explain what a beautiful character he is, which makes what happens to him all the more painful to read. He deserved so much more than what life gave him.
I cried at least twice throughout the novel, which is actually quite rare for me! It’s such a powerful and moving story, but it ends with so much hope that it’s worth the rollercoaster of emotions.
The Kite Runner is a story of war, loss and unconditional love. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read, and it’s been added to my list of 5/5 rated books!
“And that’s the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too.”
“True redemption is when guilt leads to good.”