Sunday, November 22, 2015
The Kite Runner
Posted by JaneGS
I always feel late to the party. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini was published in 2003 and was on the NYT best seller list for 2 years. I heard it was great and got a copy and then proceeded to let it sit on my TBR shelf for the next >10 years. I finally put in on my TBR Pile Challenge list for this year, if only to make room for other books.
I loved it.
I know so little about actual life in Afghanistan, and even less about the lives of Afghan refugees in the U.S. I found it fascinating, compelling, horrific, and universal. Amir's relationship with his father transcends boundaries and cultures and was beautiful to read about. Likewise, Amir's friendship with Hassan, which has shades of sibling rivalry but also sibling love and loyalty. Close, long-term relationships are complex, fraught with expectation as well as myriad other emotions that shift in and out of focus over time, and I thought Hosseini wrote so poignantly and elegantly about those relationships with such an authentic voice that this felt more like reading a memoir than a novel.
I also loved reading about the food and customs, work and play (especially kite fighting), dreams and fears of Amir and his family, both as a child in Afghanistan as well as an adult in the Bay Area, as they watch their worlds explode and try to figure out how to keep their souls intact in the new worlds that emerge.
I have Hosseini's next book A Thousand Splendid Suns on my TBR shelf already and am planning to read it next year. I have to say, I'm liking reading without borders--my life feels richer learning about life beyond my horizon.