And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
And the Mountains Echoed is the third novel from author Khaled Hosseini. It’s more than likely that you’ve heard of Hosseini’s novel The Kite Runner. And then, if you read The Kite Runner and were so incredible touched and heart broken all at the same time, you probably read his second novel A Thousand Splendid Suns. Hosseini’s first two books were, in my opinion, nothing short of incredible and I was very excited (it’s kind of weird saying I was excited to read a book that I knew would probably be so emotionally draining) to read his third.
Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, it might be one my top five favorite books I’ve ever read. And no I don’t think I could tell you what my other four are (although now that I’m thinking off on a tangent, The Silver Linings Playbook is probably also up there). But basically what I’m trying to say is it’s a beautifully written, wonderful novel. It made me cry. It made me laugh. It upset me and frustrated me. It gave me hope. SO MANY EMOTIONS. It’s one of those books that makes you feel. I could not put down this amazing book.
Hosseini begins this novel in a village in Afghanistan in the 1950s with a father telling a story to his children. From this first chapter, he weaves together the stories of many different characters that all somehow manage to connect in some way. I’m always so amazed by an author who can weave together different characters and their stories in a way that they all connect to form a larger picture. Hosseini does this flawlessly in And the Mountains Echoed. I even appreciated the chapters with their main focus being a character that didn’t have as huge an effect on the larger picture. It seemed to provide context and add to the idea that one person’s actions can relate to or effect the life of another, even if it is in a small way.
Without getting too political, I always find Hosseini’s novels particularly heartbreaking because of their Afghanistan setting. It is awful to think of a country so full of culture and life end up so decimated by political unrest and war. One thing that I found most interesting about this novel in particular is that this idea takes much more of a backseat role than in it did in Hosseini’s first two books. Of course, it isn’t completely absent, but his focus is more on families, how they’re created or broken and what happens as a result.
In offering one piece of advice when it comes to reading this book, I would say it helps if you can devote the time to reading it over a shorter time span. I have a feeling you could become a confused if you had to put the book down and pick it up again with a few days in between. With that being said, the fact that this book is so interesting and beautifully written, I would imagine you’ll have a hard time putting it down at all! Enjoy!