I have to say that this is one book that you cannot anticipate the impact it will have on you. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini was nothing that I expected, but in a good way. Seeing that I had never read a book related to life in Afghanistan, I thought that it may not be something that could keep my attention or peak my interest, but I was greatly proven wrong. This is a story of a boy named Amir and the journeys he faces from childhood through adulthood.
Amir was a son of a wealthy businessman in Kabul before his homeland came under Taliban rule. He and his father had two servants, a father and son pair, who had such ties to their life that you feel deep empathy with every passing moment. The servant boy, Hassan, was a Hazara.
Hazaras, who are mostly Shia Muslims and used as servants, received great prejudice from the majority of the Afghani population. Amir and Hassan were inseparable childhood friends, but this was looked down upon and Amir was shamed to be so in public. They ran kites together before the years it was banned by the Taliban, and Amir read books to Hassan since he was illiterate. But a tragic event of pain and a cowardly betrayal on the part of Amir diminishes this childhood joy and the heartbreak begins.
When the Taliban began their rule in the 90s, Amir and his father left everything behind and fled to California in search of a better life. For the most part, life was normal. Amir went to college, though his father, once a successful businessman, became a gas station attendant.
Life went on uninterrupted until Amir, in his adulthood, receives a call from an old friend of his fathers’ who was still living in Afghanistan. He beckons him to come home and tells him that he could make everything good again if he did so. This journey back to his homeland reveals shocking secrets that change his life forever.
Amir, being a coward all his life, finally stands up for what is right and tries to do good and make up for his past. In no way does life turn out perfect from his efforts, but the weight on his shoulders is somehow lifted after succeeding in the struggle to be a good man.
From this story I gained insight and appreciation of another world and its’ people. This book is truly inspirational and left me only wanting more. I was sullen when the last page came, though that very page was my favorite I have ever read and found myself reading it over and over. It was so simple, no twist of an ending, though it had me absorbed with its captivating words.
There, printed on the last page, is a line scarred into my memory, making me think. “I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.”
You never know who someone once was and all the glory they had once held. Everything can change when you have little control over your own life in devastating times. Sometimes, you have no choice at all.