My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 4.3/5
Published: May 29, 2003
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Genre: Asian literature, family fiction
5) Read a book set in the Muslim world OR by a Muslim writer
This novel is about Amir, narrated from his point of view, from his childhood days in Kabul with his best friend Hassan to his adulthood in USA where he settled down and married Soraya. It's a journey about friendship, brotherhood, family, dignity, honour, and regret.
This was the author's first book in which I find that it was written fluidly, as though it is his own memoir. So much details incorporated but with clarity that only a person who has witnessed firsthand would know. Apparently part of it was from the author's experience, the remaining plots and characters in the book are a work of fiction.
There were a few harrowing moments like when Amir was on the run from Kabul to Pakistan with his father and when Amir returned to Kabul to look for Hassan's son. Not forgetting what happened to Hassan when they were still boys that led to Amir's self-distancing and regret. All in all, it was an emotionally charged novel and upon reading chapter 13, it was the hardest as it made me cry. I loved how it ended, that tiny little hope that made it all worth it.
We have always read about the war in Afghanistan in the newspaper or watch it on the news but through this novel, I was introduced to Afghanistan before the war. It truly was a beautiful country with such wonderful culture and legacy. Too bad that the war has destroyed most of it. If you are like me, curious of it all then this novel is up your alley. Also Malaysia was mentioned once towards the end ;-)
Some notable quotes:
"For you a thousand times over."
"There is only one sin and that is theft... when you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth."
“Not a word passes between us, not because we have nothing to say, but because we don't have to say anything”
"A boy who won't stand up for himself becomes a man who can't stand up to anything."
"I read once that, in Malaysia, they use kites to catch fish."