Monday, May 4, 2009

The Kite Runner

I read The Kite Runner last week and was not surprised at all by all the acclaim it had received. It was an engaging, eye-opening story, one that swept the reader up in its fast paced plot and forced you to ask questions of yourself and your background. The author, Khaled Hosseini, takes you back to the Afghanistan where he was raised. He tells of his childhood, detailing his highs and lows in a way I would be comfortable doing, then discusses his flight from Afghanistan during the political uprising.

The author's brutal honesty with his failures as a child is brave. I am not certain I would have the capability to write such a memoir. He exposes himself in a raw and uncensored way, and through him we learn about a country where children grew up no different than our children today. However, with the Taliban, everything changes. The freedom that they had was crushed under the Taliban, and they are forced to flee to America, where the author goes about rebuilding his dreams, brick by brick.

It is a story of reconciliation, of love, of heartbreak. The author is searching for redemption for an act he committed as a child. His journeys have a universal element to them; while we each have things in our past we cannot change, we also have a future that is left open for us to find motivation from our past to fuel our journey forward. We cannot change our past, but we are free to live for God in the future. It is an emotional journey into the heart of a land I previously knew little about. It is a great ride, and I am better for having read it.

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