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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Book Review: The Kite Runner


Khaled Hosseini's first book The Kite Runner is heart achingly good. Set in Afghanistan this is a story of love, sin, betrayal and redemption. Two boys growing up in Kabul joined and kept apart by invisible ties.

The heart of the book is Amir's struggle to win his father's love and deal with the tragedy that befalls his companion Hassan. The key phrase 'there is a way to be good again' strikes a chord for Amir when as an adult emigre to the US he journeys back to Afghanistan now under the control of the Taleban.

Beautifully written, sad, evocative, brutal and heart rending this deserved all its plaudits. It asks a good question how can we be redeemed from terrible things (done by us or to us) and it offers good works as the reply, even though Amir eventually turns to God as a Muslim, it is that classic trade off - 'do this and I'll promise to be good'.

Jesus offers us grace and that is found in the suffering of Hassan, who is like a lamb in so many ways yet ultimately the book leaves us with questions and an individual hope that this good will be good enough. Still definitely warrants reading.

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