“For you, a thousand times over.”
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is a historical fiction novel set in Afghanistan, and the United States. It follows the life and journey of Amir, the son of a a rich Afghan businessman, whom he calls Baba. Amir is rather sensitive and intelligent, and has a talent for storytelling. He and Hassan are best friends, having grown up together, but he is jealous of how Baba seems to favour Hassan over him.
This envy, combined with Amir’s ever-growing desire to prove his worth to Baba, leads to the unthinkable. He turns a blind eye when Hassan is sexually assaulted, and pretends he has not seen. Because of this, Amir is weighted with guilt, and for many years, he looks for a way to redeem himself.
The Kite Runner is one of those books that is felt deeply. It reaches into you and plays with your heartstrings. It evokes all kinds of emotions from you, from joy to heartbreak. For this reason, I loved it. It was a gorgeous, albeit devastating read, and it truly affected me. Hosseini writes with a distinct style that changes with the characters’ ages, and it genuinely feels as if I watched Amir grow up, making it all the more engaging. The characters are so well developed, and I especially appreciate the realism with which Hosseini depicted them. He makes you realize that the world really is all different shades of gray. That people are flawed; we’re not bad, we’re not good, we’re only human.
This book is also extremely relevant given recent events, and I am so glad I had the chance to learn more about Afghanistan and its people. The ending was very open, and I actually really liked that. It leaves a tinge of hope, because what happens next is up to us to decide.
Overall, I would rate this book a 9/10. I have yet to dislike a historical fiction, and The Kite Runner was no exception. I would recommend it to anyone who isn’t opposed to a heavy, emotional read that tackles many, many important topics.