The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini
By By Khaled Hosseini
Easily one of the most memorable books I’ve read recently. This beautifully written first novel by Hosseini presents a glimpse of life in Afghanistan before the Russian invasion and introduces richly drawn, memorable characters.
Quiet, intellectual Amir craves the attention of his father, a wealthy Kabul businessman. Kind and self-confident Hassan is the son of Amir’s father’s servant. The motherless boys play together daily, and when Amir wins the annual kite contest, Hassan offers to track down the opponent’s runaway kite as a prize. When he finds it, the neighborhood bullies trap and rape him, as Amir stands by too terrified to help. Their lives and their friendship are forever changed, and the memory of his cowardice haunts Amir as he grows into manhood.
Hassan and his father return to the village of their ancestors, and later Amir and his father flee to Los Angeles to avoid political persecution. Amir attends college, marries, and fulfills his dream of becoming a writer. When Amir receives word of his former friend’s death under the Taliban, he returns to Kabul to learn the fate of Hassan’s son.
It does take a despairing note in between, but what I loved most is the way it ended.