Review: And the Mountains Echoed

ImageTitle: And the Mountains Echoed

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Rating: ★★★★1/2

Provided Synopsis: Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. 

In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. 

Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

Review: From the very first sentence I was transfixed upon this story in the way that only Khaled Hosseini can accomplish. A father tells a village tale to his children, with them unaware that it will come to resonate with their own lives once an act of betrayal is committed to separate them. From that action alone a ripple is created within the lives of Abdullah and Pari that extends from generation to generation. The beauty of this novel is not only in Hosseini’s stunning storytelling skills, but also in the way that he understands humans and the emotions that shape us. He is never going to give his readers delusions that all stories have a happy ending. Instead, he will show us how even when we learn the truth of a situation, we can often choose to turn a blind eye because to do nothing eases our conscience and dulls the senses.

And the Mountains Echoed is at its core a story about love and the things we will do to because of the emotion. With each chapter the point-of-view switches to a different character that has in some way been touched by the separation of Abdullah and Pari. Like all of his previous stories, Hosseini transports his readers to the region of the Middle East to paint canvases of the aftereffects of plenty of wars. And while I enjoyed reading about the other characters, I do wish that Hosseini had focused more intently upon the story of Abdullah and Pari. I wanted to know more about their lives apart; I wanted to follow every movement that they took rather than see the ripples that were created. However, I understand the message the author was trying to convey with his structure, and over time I do believe that I will appreciate and be moved by it even more than I am right now.

The ending was so bittersweet and special that I feel as if I will be thinking about if for days to come. Well done, indeed.

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