“It was only a smile, nothing more. It didn’t make everything all right. It didn’t make ANYTHING all right. Only a smile. A tiny thing. A leaf in the woods, shaking in the wake of a startled bird’s flight. But I’ll take it. With open arms. Because when spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake melting.”
The Kite Runner was my first experience with Khaled Hosseini‘s work and it is still my all time favorite (although A Thousand Splendid Suns comes a close second). I have read this story various times since it first came out, and it manages to enchant me every time. The Kite Runner tells us a story that is both well written, inspiring, full of raw and real emotions and simply a rollercoaster ride that will make you laugh and cry at the same time. The character development is very well done and the unlikely friendship between the wealthy boy Amir and the son of his father’s servant, Hassan, will bring tears to your eyes. Not only is it a heartbreaking story of family, love and friendship, but it also gives facts about the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years. All in all it’s a very beautiful and powerful read that will surely appeal to those who like reading historical fiction and learn more about foreign cultures and Afghanistan in particular. It’s Khaled Hosseini’s debut novel, and for me his best work so far.
Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant and member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan is the son of his father’s servant and part of the despised and impoverished Hazara caste. Despite these differences an unlikely friendship has grown between the two boys. When Amir has to abandon his home and friend due to the increasing tensions during the last years of the Afghan monarchy, he never truly forgets about Hassan. The bond between the two boys is so strong that Amir decides to travel back to find him. The political and religious situation is more complicated than ever in Afghanistan, and that only complicates their reunion? What will happen to the two boys and their country?
I love reading books set in cultures I am not that familiar with and the fact that The Kite Runner is so beautifully written is a huge bonus. Not only is the historical information really intriguing, but Khaled Hosseini managed to mix those facts with a heartbreaking story of friendship, love and family. If you like the genre and haven’t read this book yet, I would definitely recommend picking it up. It’s easy to say The Kite Runner belongs to my list of all time favorites.