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My 16 year old daughter was assigned this book to read in school. I often read my high school aged children`s literature assignments but rarely have I been so riveted by one. This story is not for the faint of heart. It`s down right brutal at times and the language and subject matter are such that adults should think carefully before allowing their younger teens to read. But for older and more mature teens, there are important lessons to be learned. And for a born and bred American, it`s refreshing to get a middle eastern perspective on the world that is honest and thoughtful. I don`t know if it`s accurate to say I enjoyed reading this book but I was certainly enriched by the experience.
When I picked this book up, I was very intrigued and satisfied as it was a very good read. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini details a life story of a young boy, Amir who grows up looking for redemption as a result of his betrayal to his half-brother Hassan. Throughout the novel, Hosseini delves into the mind of Amir who, in the beginning of the novel, is a young boy living with his father and best friend/half brother in Kabul, Afghanistan. As a loyal friend, Hassan, despite being a Hazara, always defends Amir and himself against the pashtun boys for being friends despite Amir and Hassan’s difference in social stature. Soon, they split apart after Amir betrays Hassan. Feeling the consequences of his cowardice, Amir sets out to find redemption for his inaction as he goes to save Hassan’s son from the Taliban after Hassan passes. Throughout the novel, Hosseini recounts the story through the first person mind of Amir whose guilt-driven consciousness drives the plot. Hosseini weaves the idea that redemption is important because sin is enduring throughout the story. He explains that Amir seeks to help Sohrab, Hassan’s son, as he realizes that he has been “peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.” It becomes apparent that his cowardice and betrayal towards Hassan has plagued his consciousness with guilt. Without relief, he cannot live a normal life that he had tried to build in the United States.The title of the book also reveals an important aspect of the plot as the kite fighting tournaments become essential to understanding the underlying meaning of the story. Kite fighting in the beginning of the novel represents the distinct dichotomy that was occurring at that in Afghanistan between the Pashtuns and the Hazaras, but it also represents the strong bond between the half brothers. In the end, the kite fighting represents the promising future that was ahead of Sohrab and Amir. Hosseini reveals that Amir had “looked down at Sohrab. One corner of his mouth curled up just so. A smile.” Although, he has sinned in the beginning, Amir finally finds his redemption and relief within Sohrab.Overall, this book was very captivating as it keeps readers on their toes throughout the entire story. One can feel a sort of connection with the narrator further aiding the reader the importance of redemption. I would give this book five stars.
There are so many ways that this book has touched me; it`s difficult to find a place to begin.I read this book after reading "A Thousand Splendid Suns" because I was beginning to really become aware of how many of our fellow brothers and sisters in other places in the world have the same desires that we do in the United States: to raise our children with a sense of morality, the determination to make more of oneself, and the endurance to keep going in horrific times and situations.The narrator of this story is so breathtakingly honest that I feel that his conscience is only open to me. This story allows me to recognize that more than likely every human who has ever walked this earths has had moments of deep regret, and that if we could, we would go back and redo as we examine how life could have been different if other choices were made.Reading this book has made this far away place seem so much closer – and its people much more understandable to me. It`s an emotional read but a must-read for all who, like me, have not read a book like it.
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