BLURB: “Afghanistan, 1975: Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the local kite-fighting tournament and his loyal friend Hassan promises to help him. But neither of the boys can foresee what will happen to Hassan that afternoon, an event that is to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee America, Amir realises that one day he must return to Afghanistan under Taliban rule to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption.”
REVIEW: I have just read all three of Khaled Hosseini’s published works in a row and am completely mind-blown by what I have read in all three of them. This story, ‘The Kite Runner’, was possibly the most heartbreaking of the three. The friendship between Amir and his family’s servant, Hassan, is one that the reader believes in instantly, despite the inequality that is present in their relationship due to Hassan’s lower social status. Hassan’s devotion to Amir is truly moving, and makes Amir’s betrayal of his closest friend even more painful for the reader to witness. It is difficult to review these books without giving away too much, but it is fair to say that throughout the rest of the book the reader is placed in constant conflict over Amir, resenting him for what he let happen to Hassan but also understanding why he did so, and finding a sensitive and creative character that it becomes difficult to dislike. His relationship with Soraya improves Amir, and his determination to atone for his past mistakes upon returning to Afghanistan is something the reader cannot help but admire. Every character in the book has a depth and sensitivity that makes even the most minor of characters a complex and layered individual – an impressive feat for any author. Hosseini’s writing is so gripping that I could not put the book down until I had finished it, and once I had finished it I sat there for a few moments wondering what on earth I could read next that would possibly live up to it. I have a feeling that this book – and Hosseini’s other works – will stay with me for a very long time.