“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”
― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Friday, 1 November 2013
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
When this book first came out
for some reason I didn’t fancy reading it but, as it was my reading groups
choice this last month I read it and loved it and wondered why I hadn’t read it
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini explores the nature of friendship, of
forgiveness and of redemption, set against the turbulent background of his
The son of a rich and popular merchant, Amir leads a privileged life, wanting
only to please his beloved but demanding father, Baba, and to play with Hassan,
the child of Ali, Baba’s lifelong servant. Both Amir and Hassan are motherless.
They spend almost all their time together, playing games and sharing stories in
their favourite pomegranate tree. An encounter with Assef, the local bully, in
which Hassan springs to Amir’s defence has appalling consequences, destroying
their friendship and driving Amir to desperate measures to rid himself of
Hassan, measures which result in a puzzling reaction from his father. When Ali
and Hassan decide to leave of their own accord, Amir’s relief is short lived;
he knows that his cowardice has been detected.
Baba and Amir are soon in flight themselves when the Russians invade. They flee
first to Pakistan, then to America where Baba’s old life of influence and power
is at an end. They make a new life for themselves, embracing the San
Francisco Afghan community, one of whom Amir eventually marries. But Amir
remains haunted by his failure to protect Hassan, unable to enjoy his
success as a novelist and his marriage to Soraya, convinced that their
inability to have a child and his father’s death are punishments visited upon
Amir is rescued by a phone call from Baba’s old friend, Rahim Khan, who offers
him the chance of redemption. Once in Peshawar, where Rahim is dying, Amir
learns that he is to find Hassan’s lost son. In so doing, he must summon his
courage and face not only his old enemy, but also the destruction that has been
wrought upon his homeland. In return, he is rewarded with the truth about
his relationship with Hassan and a greater understanding of his beloved Baba.
This is well worth a read, an excellent book, as I said I loved it!