My First Book of the Summer

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Jun 15, 2008 in Books I'm Reading |

Now that summer’s here, I’ll finally have a chance to catch up on some reading. I have a stack of books that have been calling my name, waiting to be read while sitting in a beach chair by the lake and pool.

And I just finished my first summer book – Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

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This is one of those books that is extremely disturbing but that you can’t stop reading all at the same time.

The book follows the life of Amir, the son of a wealthy businessman in Afghanistan. As a child, Amir lives in a peaceful Afghanistan and spends his days playing with Hassan, the son of his father’s servant. I loved reading about Afghanistan during this time period – in my eyes, I’ve always associated the country with war and destruction, not with persimmon trees and kite tournaments. After reading the first half of the book, I could vision Afghanistan as the beautiful place that it was.

The wonderful thing about this book is that the author not only describes the political situation in Afghanistan in a very graphic, eye-opening way, but he also gets you emotionally connected with these characters at the same time. You feel invested in Amir and Hassan’s future and can feel their pain and struggles.

Amir considers himself a coward and when tested, he is unable to stand up for his friend as his friend did for him. This haunts him for years and affects the rest of his life – the guilt and shame of what he did (and didn’t do) when he was just a teenager.

As an adult, he has a chance to make things right and comes face-to-face with some demons from the past – and what demons they are. Hosseini described the Taliban’s ferocious methods of punishing those who oppose them in a detail that chilled me to the bone.

I have to say that I was just a little disappointed in the ending. I had hoped that after reading through all the horrible scenes of rape and murder that the author could just throw us a bone and give us a happy end to the story. But I guess that’s how real life works – happy endings are not guaranteed – especially for those living in that part of the world.

Still, I would recommend this book – just be prepared for a story that will challenge you.

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