my first vacation-celebration purchase was a copy of Khaled Hosseini's "The Kite Runner". i've wanted to read it for a good long time, and yet, i was a little afraid of it, knowing that it would likely break my heart in two. M. convinced me it was a story worthy of a little heartache, and besides, every book she's ever recommended to me ends up on my 'favorite' shelf so it was likely that i would enjoy it. and here i am again, the nerdy little bookworm, wanting to do nothing but find a comfortable place to sit and read, utterly in love with a book that pulled me deep inside its world the very minute i read the first paragraph:
"I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it's wrong what they say about the past, I've learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years."
this is most beautifully written book i have read in years, right up there with 'fall on your knees'. it is wrapped in horrific and almost unspeakable violence, and yet told with love and extraordinary tenderness. it is really, i think, a love story about afghanistan, a love story of two little boys and their haunting friendship, a love story of fathers and sons. and while i can't be certain because i've not turned the last page yet, i suspect it will also be about redemption. at least i hope so because at this point, i'm not sure i could bear any other ending.
this book is...difficult to read sometimes. it will light fire to every emotion imagineable inside of you. it is so unbelievably heartwrenching at times that i have to simply put the book aside to catch my breath. i have cried more than once and have been amazed at the way Hosseini is able to reach deep inside his readers and pull so hard at the heart. his prose is simple--no flourishing words or sweeping metaphors or grandiose, complicated imagery. and yet...the sentences have a rhythm, a voice, that reads like poetry. like music. sad, haunting, lovely music.
i was tucked in bed late last night...burning incense...and completely lost in this story. two times i finished a chapter, put the book on the nightstand, and thought, 'okay, time to sleep.' turned out the light, and lay in the darkness, my mind unable to shut off these complicated, beautiful characters. and then turned the light back on, and read more. finally, at 2 am, my eyes got the best of me and i had to tuck away hassan and amir and baba and ali for the night.
i'll be heading to Fort Williams soon...book in hand, of this you can be sure.