I have read very few Afghan books. In fact, other than this one, Three Cups of Tea is the only other book I have read with Afghanistan as a setting (and I have little to nothing I care to say about that one). The Kite Runner is, for sure, on my list as a favorite.
Amir, a young and wealthy Afghan boy, describes life growing up in the Afghanistan of the 1970's and 80's. He grows up with his distant father, his family's servant and the servant boy, Hassan. The close age of the boys and the absence of their mothers are what bond the two young boys together. Despite their closeness, social norms still play a strong role in their relationship and Amir often toys with the lines between Hassan's friendship and servitude. Life for them is very simple and typical, with strong customs and traditions until one of these traditions leads them into a tragedy that brings forth doubt, secrets and fractures the tightly bonded group of men both young and old.
A few short years after the boys share this secret, Russia invades Afghanistan and brings destruction to the country. Amir and his father escape to America and join many other refugees in the community where they begin to rebuild their lives. We see an adult Amir and his father discover one another as they grow older together and share the memories and the secrets of their Afghanistan and their lives. Amir discovers secrets of his father that will forever change his life.
Khaled Hosseini writes such beautifully descriptive prose, bringing readers into the foreign world of the past. I was gripped by the former beauty of a country that I have only seen as a desolated war zone on television. These descriptions not only exposed the warm hearts of the characters, but of a people so misunderstood and misrepresented by the extremists shown on the news today. This is a crafted tale of humanity, love and courage that should be read by everyone.