Goodreads rating: 4.02/5 (68K+ ratings)
My rating: 7.5/10
First published: 21st May 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction, Drama
The third book by Khaled Hosseini (author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns), And The Mountains Echoed doesn’t disappoint. I had pretty high expectations as A Thousand Splendid Suns (ATSS) is one of my all time favourites, and although I found And The Mountains Echoed less full on than ATSS, it was still very enjoyable.
Each chapter is almost written like a short story in itself. The overarching story starts with a boy, Abdullah, and his younger, beloved sister Pari who is sold to a rich family in Kabul without him. Each chapter follows the lives of a different character revolved around both of these children including Pari’s adoptive parents, her step uncle, the family next door who move to America, the Greek Doctor who moves into her childhood home during the war in Afghanistan, and a young, rich, oblivious boy.
I’ve found other books written in a similar format, such as A Tale of Two Cities, really hard to follow, but Hosseini has a great ability to fill you in on the background of each character, and help you get to know them in just a few pages. He also ties in each story to the overall theme really well and in an engaging way. Another thing I love not only about this book but Hosseini’s other novels, is his description of Afghanistan. In this story he describes pre-war Afghanistan and it sounds like a beautiful country – it’s a way i’ve never heard Afghanistan described as before, and just for that it’s worth reading.
This story is heartbreaking and touching, and totally worth the read. It’s a pretty quick and easy read, the language is really simple, but I definitely recommend it.
A story is like a moving train: no matter where you hop onboard, you are bound to reach your destination sooner or later.
All my life, she gave to me a shovel and said, Fill these holes inside of me.
Beauty is an enormous, unmerited gift given randomly, stupidly.
Creating means vandalizing the lives of other people, turning them into unwilling and unwitting participants. You steal their desires, their dreams, pocket their flaws, their suffering. You take what does not belong to you. You do this knowingly.
If an avalanche buries you and you’re lying there underneath all that snow, you can’t tell which way is up or down. You want to dig yourself out but pick the wrong way, and you dig yourself to your own demise.
If culture is a house, then language was the key to the front door; to all the rooms inside. Without it, you ended up wayward, without a proper home or a legitimate identity.
It’s a funny thing, but people mostly have it backward. They think they live by what they want. But really, what guides them is what they’re afraid of. What they don’t want.
If you’ve read this, I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts or reading your reviews so please share any links!