The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is one of those rare literary jewels that makes you want grab the nearest person and scream out “read this!”
First set in 1970s Afghanistan, it chronicles the turbulent childhood of Amir, a twelve-year-old Pashtun boy who’s disturbed by his father’s (Baba) lack of interest in him, which influences a decision that tares his family apart.
Amir’s awkward and painful journey highlights the universal negatives of childhood, a time when one’s personal forces of good and evil overwhelm.
Although Amir is sensitive and tries his best to be ‘good’, he can’t escape the hierarchy of money and ends up becoming a slave to his fate by betraying his friend and servant Hassan.
As the story progresses, Amir finds himself in the midst of a personal dilemma that most children face at some stage of their life – to tell or not to tell.
He chooses not to tell and subsequently finds himself getting what he wanted all along, more affection from Baba, but at a price that haunts him until he seeks redemption.
Set across two continents, The Kite Runner, is an epic tale that underlines common themes of humanity and explores how decisions made in childhood, whether innocent or not, can leave a profound mark on one’s life.
Perhaps the best summary of the novel is a line used throughout it, “For you, a thousand times over.”
The Kite Runner is an ode to the innocent and blind love and trust that children have and the torturous reality that comes when this trust is broken.