The story set in Afghanistan, revolves around two friends, Amir and Hassan. Amir is the son of a wealthy Pashtun business man whereas Hassan, a Hazara is the son of Amir’s family servant. The two are the best of friends though Amir lacking in courage and loyalty, often hesitates to admit it or stand up for his friend. During a kite flying competition an incident occurs that drastically changes the lives of the two boys. Following the incident the two friends are separated, only to find later on that that their lives are intertwined forever. As a result of the political crisis in Afghan, Amir leaves for America along with his father. The ghosts of the incident haunt Amir for many more years until he receives a phone call from an old friend and realizes that ‘there is a way to be good again’. The book highlights the intensity and beauty of relationships, particularly of friendship and how a true friend would do things ' a thousand times over for you’.
The early part of the story is set in the dry, mountainous region of Kabul, Afghanistan. In the initial part of the story, the political situation is calm and the government is that of monarchy. It tells us about the life of Afghan in the 70’s and the invasion of Russia. The foreign occupation resulted in thousands of Afghans migrating to Pakistan. The story also gives an insight about the rise of the Taliban and the cruel measures they resorted against anyone who opposed them.
Khaled Hosseini in this debut novel of his has used a first person narrative mode. His writing is simple and easy to comprehend. So powerful and moving is his story telling capability that the characters live in our hearts and minds even long after reading the book.
This is one of the best books I’ve read and is a real page turner. The book takes you through different emotions of friendship, betrayal, guilt, redemption and love. The book also enlightens us on the culture and history of Afghan and how badly the afghan people suffered at the hands of foreign rule. The story is so touching that it is sure to strike a chord in anyone reading it. The unconditional, sacrificial love that Hassan has for Amir is truly heart rending. I am sure that even people who are generally not fond of books will love this one.
Book Reviewed By Hala Hassan
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