Title: The Kite Runner
My rating: 5/5
Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir’s choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.
The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.
A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.
I was not sure what I was expecting reading this story, but this was not what I imagined in the best way possible. It’s raw, real, and revealing of not just the Middle East but human nature in general. The themes of loyalty, family, fear, friendship, and forgiveness, are poignant and wonderfully intertwined throughout the narrative. Amir and Hassan’s friendship (for as short of a time that we as readers saw them together) made me reflect on my own relationships and any elements of my own selfish and impatient nature, even as an adult. There was a stubbornness with Amir along with wanting approval, acceptance, and affirmation from a father, that followed him into adulthood and even beyond his father’s death. The distances we go to prove something makes me wonder is it worth it? Does it really matter in the long run? Easier said than done, I believe as I continuously challenge myself on what’s the point. Family and friends make up a huge part of our identities: acceptance, admiration, as well as refusal to be anything like them.
“Show him once and for all that his son was worthy. Then maybe my life as a ghost in this house would finally be over” (56)
“I ran because I was a coward….I was afraid of getting hurt…I actually aspired to cowardice, because the alternative, the real reason I was running, was that Assef was right: Nothing was free in this world” (77)
“I wished he’d give me the punishment I craved, so maybe I’d finally sleep at night” (92).
What are your thoughts on self-forgiveness?