The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is a beautiful story about friendship, loyalty, and love. Two boys, Amir and Hassan, grow up side by side in Afghanistan and witness the fall of the monarchy and rise of Soviet Russia and the Taliban firsthand. But, their friendship is nearly destroyed when Amir betrays Hassan in order to gain acceptance from his distant father. Decades later, after he has immigrated to America, Amir’s loyalty to Hassan is put to the test; he must return to Afghanistan to prove what his friend’s love and faithful companionship really meant to him.
The plot in itself is truly remarkable. Usually, love is illustrated in a romantic light, but The Kite Runner focuses on a type of love that pop culture rarely pays attention to, the love you can feel towards a best friend. The book also portrays the state of the Middle East in a way that is often hard to comprehend. In America, we hear horror stories about the Taliban, and, as a result, Muslims are often viewed in an intensely negative way. But, The Kite Runner focuses on a voice that is rarely heard, the voice of the common Muslim. The book provides insight on the war-torn country and how adults and children alike are struggling under the Taliban’s reign.
Because of this portrayal, The Kite Runner has touched me in a way that not many books have. After reading this book I feel as if I have developed a personal connection to Afghanistan, for my stomach turns and my heart clenches when I think about the state of that country. The most beautiful thing about this book is, not only did Hosseini manage to make me feel as if I experienced Afghanistan’s changes firsthand, he managed to teach me the power of friendship at the same time.
Book Review by Gabrielle Flint