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As the 1980s and 1990s progress, these battles rage on, and Amir's fiercest battle is within his own heart and his own conscience.

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However, the winter of 1975 comes along, and Amir is determined to win the yearly kite running competition.

He feels that such a feat would finally make his father proud and finally allow him to be seen as a worthy son, a strong young man.

His decisions that winter have far-reaching consequences, ones which he never could have forseen but which later torment his heart and mind.

Indeed, Amir's battles can be seen as a microcosm of Afghanistan at large.

His mother died giving birth to him, and his father, Baba, never seems to offer the unflinching love and approval that young Amir craves.

Baba is a tall, imposing figure whose intimidating personality and stature command both his household and the family's neighborhood in Kabul. Amir, by contrast, is unathletic, timid, and nonconfrontational.

Finally, a phone call from an old friend forces Amir to face his past, fight a battle he never could have imagined, and either reject or embrace his one chance for redemption.

Throughout the novel, we see the raw pain of reality; we see a nation cruelly dissembled and a man equally torn apart.

As Amir grows up, his native country is ravaged by the Soviets, internal factions, religious extremism, and every conceivable form of violence.

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