30 Oct 2007


I've been wanting to write up about some of the books I've been reading lately but just couldn't find the time. Just got a stash of books recently - mainly chick lit and some Asian Lit. There's one I've been wanting to recommend to any body interested in a good read - that is The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. It is a poignant and deeply moving story of two boys growing up in Afghanistan - the land that is being systematically destroyed by the Americans. Set against a background of the late Afghan monarchy in its final stages of oblivion, it goes right into the present and shows us the rich cultural background of a hitherto unknown region. Afghanistan was my grandfather's land and when I first took the book that was the main attraction. However, once started I could not put it down. Set in the 1960s, it tells the story of young Amir who lives a priviledged life and his friendship with Hassan, the son of his servant. However, while Amir constantly strives to gain his father's love and acceptance, Hassan it seems could do no wrong in his father's eyes. He takes part in the annual kite flying tournament hoping to gain his father's attention and his love. He wins the tournament but just as he thinks all will be well between him and his father, he see Hassan being raped by a group of boys in a back alley. Amir ignores the incident and buries his guilt by being cruel to Hassan. Political changes in Afghanistan take over after this incident which marks a change in the boys' relationship, and Amir's family escapes to America where he grows up and marries a woman he loves. But he cannot forget Hassan and that day in the back alley. His guilt torments him until he returns to Afghanistan to find out what had happened to Hassan. He finds out that Hassan and his wife had died, leaving a young boy called Sohrab. Sohrab it seems is now living with one of the Talibans. Determined to rescue Sohrab and bring him back to America, Amir risks his life and almost dies.The book had such an impact on me that I could not get it out of my mind even weeks after reading it. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie and reading his second book - A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Shasha also got me some good chick lit by Dorothy Coombs - My Bestfriend's Girl and Marshmellows For Breakfast. Both are good reads. My Bestfriend's Girl is about love and betrayal and loyalty. Unlike many of the romance novels that I've read, both these books give us an insight into friendships - even unlikely ones. In My Bestfriend's Girl for example we see a young black woman who moves away from all that she knows and loves to escape a broken heart. (I know it sounds corny but read on). She was engaged to be married to a white man, but just before the wedding she finds out that the little girl she adores belonging to her best friend, is actually the love child of her soon to be wed fiance' and her best friend. Grief stricken, betrayed and unsure of herself she runs away and stays away for six years. But six years later she finds out that her best friend is dying of cancer and she has inherited the little girl - proof of her fiance's betrayal. Now she has to bring this little girl up as her own and cope with her own sense of loss and guilt.
This sometimes moving, sometimes funny story tells us how she copes with bringing up a child and finding her own self. A really good read and a must have!!

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