Even if you haven’t picked up a book in six months, find time on your summer vacation for The Kite Runner. An engaging and unforgettable first novel by Khaled Hosseini, this book opens the window on a strange land, a privileged childhood in Afghanistan during the last years before the Soviet invasion. A disappointed father, a best friend who gets paid to cook his meals, and a dramatic escape and exile anchor the plot, but the heart of the story is woven in the complex tapestry of loyalty, cowardice, betrayal, war, and redemption. It is a gorgeous and dramatic read; the pages fly by, and despite the heartaches of humanity spread throughout the pages, Hosseini manages to find the joy in the fine details and leave readers soaring with the kites. It’s one of those books that left me realizing that I will never think of some things in the world as I did before I turned its pages.
The movie is fantastic too, but really only captures the plot and misses some of Hosseini’s inspired language. If you can, make time for both this summer. I’m picking up his next book, A Thousand Splendid Suns as soon as I can.
Also, Hosseini is a vocal advocate for the Afghani people and is offering his support to the Afghan Libraries Program to aid literacy in his homeland. It is my belief that literacy and education will do more to stop our cycle of international violence than almost any other effort. Find out more and order the books at www.khaledhosseini.com.