Go Read This Book!
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
If you are a reader, you need to go right now and get you a copy of The Kite Runner. The book, which actually came out in 2003 (I'm behind the times sometimes and I just happened up on this one at Amazon, read its great reviews, and ordered me a copy), is absolutely AMAZING!
I took this book with me on our Disney World trip and, on the way home, I was so caught up in it that I couldn't put it down. Florida, Georgia, and Alabama came and went quickly as I was immersed in this book (although the nighttime darkness finally took over in Bama and I had to abandon it). The book is so powerful, in fact, that Gary looked at me a few times and grinned a little bit--seeing that I was actually crying as I read it.
I'll admit it--I am a Book Cryer, but it doesn't happen very often. The Kite Runner, though, absolutely GOT me! Its story kept me immersed through every page and the emotion it brought out in me was some of the most deeply-felt I've experienced from reading a book in a long time.
The book is the story of two childhood friends in Afghanistan, long before Russia's invasion and the later Taliban takeover. The friends--the privileged Amir and the ethnically-"inferior" Hassan--live in a world of cultural rules that can't be wavered from. Still, they find childhood joy in games and activities like sharing stories, playing under the pomegranate tree, and flying (and "running") kites (which becomes an activity loaded with meaning!).
A singular day, though, changes everything for them both and they drift far apart. (It was at this one particular event in the book--the one charged with so much meaning that it changes their entire worlds, lives, and future--that I openly cried because it was so incredibly emotional!). Amir and Hassan go on to much different worlds--one to America and success as a writer, the other remaining in a much-changed and violent Afghanistan.
The book is ultimately a story of betrayal and redemption, and it's hard really to explain the power I felt in reading it. The writing is wonderful--very sparse, yet meaning-filled--and the characters feel authentic. It's truly a book that I think will stay in my memory for a very long time!
(By the way--I've been planning on sharing my favorite books from the last 6-months on a blog entry soon. I absolutely LOVE to read and usually have two or three books going on at the same time! I love all sorts of books--from the classics, to contemporary mysteries, to poetry, to young adult, to bestsellers. And although I've read a ton of books over the summer and into the Fall and have read several really GOOD ones, this book is going right to the top of the list!)