Posted by: Kara | February 19, 2010

The Lovely Kite Runner … Bones

Reading: Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Page: 51 of 385

That’s right – I “skipped” two books … However, I only skipped blogging about them. Oops. So here goes.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold:

The Lovely Bones was tragic and sad and beautiful all at the same time. The character of Susie Salmon will stick with me for a long time. But even more troubling is the statistics of missing women in Canada (as of October 2009):

“At this moment in Canada, there are 1,559 missing women on file with the Canadian Police Information Centre, a national case-tracking database maintained at the RCMP’s Ottawa headquarters.” – Source

That doesn’t even count missing girls. While I might not do this with every book I read, I find it hard to not take each book and relate it to an issue today. I think what struck me the most about this book was the lack of justice in the end. I found myself skipping ahead to find out whether Mr. Harvey was arrested. I won’t spoil the ending, but I found this plot line just sort of hung there – without leaving me with much relief, left me to believe that justice is rarely served in cases like these.

Murdered girls and women stay missing and their mysterious disappearances remain unsolved. I guess it’s only wishful thinking to believe things can be tied up in a pretty package in a novel, but maybe that’s the beauty of the novel in the end. It leaves you hoping and it leaves you thinking that maybe things still might turn out. Maybe Mr. Harvey’s sins will be found out, maybe they won’t. But at least there’s hope. That’s all that’s left in the end.

The Kite Runner by Khaleed Hosseini:

I just finished this book two days ago. Definitely recommended. I think it’s all so fresh in my mind right now and I can’t formulate my thoughts right now! But I can say that it opened my eyes to all the problems in Afghanistan, and also why it’s taking so much to be rid of the Taliban stronghold in the country. The book takes place throughout the life of the main character, Amir. It ventures through his childhood into his teens to adulthood. Afghan and muslim traditions are tactfully explained to non-muslims such as I and were much needed.

I was sucked into the life of Amir, Hassan and their family, friends and enemies. Hosseini’s characters are in depth, strong and well-developed. I rooted for the heroes and sneered at the villains. The tragedy in Amir’s life is juxtaposed by certain beautiful moments in his life such as his wedding, kite running, and his father’s pride in him. While I knew this was a wonderful book, I really didn’t know how I’d feel about it. I always thought it was foreign to me, and because it was a bizarre title to me (I wondered what a Kite Runner even was – and I’m still not 100% sure!), I hesitated for two years before I read it. Ignorance is bliss as they say. Except I almost missed out on a beautiful literary experience.

And so now I’m on to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. What a change! I’m going to need some time to adjust to the style of writing and phrasing. I am, however, happy to note that this edition has footnotes as well as discussion before and after the book. While I skipped over it at the beginning, I might go back (might being the operative word) and read the discussions once I’m done the book. I’m only a chapter into it, so I can’t say a whole lot. We’ll see how my adjustment back to my high school reading days goes.

Until then, I’m off!



  1. I know what you mean about justice in The Lovely Bones however I did like the idea that the Universe gets the bad ones even if human justice fails. It’s comforting when we see so many injustices go unpunished by our own laws.

    Cold comfort though but I like your final take on it. Here’s to hope.

  2. Kara, read A Thousand Splendid Suns (next book after Kite Runner). Excellent book. Very interesting. Eye opening. I have never been so angry at a book. I kept throwing it down (literally) in anger. Good book club discussion book. Same great writing.

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