And The Mountains Echoed

Oct 2, 2013 by     No Comments    Posted under: Book Emporium, Hang Out

Being super obsessed with books, it was impossible for me to ignore Khaled Hosseini’s literary work. He has the ability to capture your mind with the tricks of simple yet powerful words and his stories leaves you feeling beautifully poignant. I fell in love with The Kite Runner (2003) and my heart bled while I read A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007).

Naturally, being a fan of Hosseini’s work, I could hardly wait for the book to be published. This has to be one of the most anticipated books in the literary world; yet after reading it, I spent a week confused and trying to decide how I had been affected by the different stories in the narrative spanning several generations, people and places.

According to Hosseini, the title of the book was inspired by William Blake’s poem “Nurse’s Song: Innocence.”

What makes this book different from those he has penned previously is the fact that instead of just talking about two characters, he has incorporated various different roles, and the various different stories are linked to one another as the events in the lives of one family intermingle with their descendants, and with the lives of the people they have touched.

From Post Soviet War Afghanistan to France, Tinos (A Greek Island) and to United States, it takes us on different journies through the lives of different people. Centered around Pari, a young Afghan woman, the story is a clustering of biographical accounts around the main character; so that we are both drawn into her story and that of the others surrounding her.

It starts off in the 1940’s, with a father going to Kabul with two of his children, telling a folk lore about a farmer and a div (Giant in Afghani Folk lores). This starts off a chain of events for the characters in the book which takes the reader across the world and through decades. The narrative leads from an uncle’s suggestion to a father’s decision, which in turn affects the lives of two children and there was no stopping what happened after.

As the story progressed, it became almost impossible to trace back to the main characters; but secrets are meant to be revealed, truths are meant to be uncovered.

 One thing I loved was the fact that Hosseini’s writing made us relive the characters brilliantly. He took us into their minds and hearts, and laid bare their flaws and weaknesses. As the story played out through decades in almost five countries depicting the lives of various characters, it made me glad that somehow there was redemption for the two little children who loved each other so much that even after years of separation, the void in their lives remained.

Even as the emotional roller-coaster of Hosseini’s third book takes us on a wild ride, it did have me thinking at a point that some characters were better off being mentioned in passing, like Markos and Thalia and the Bashiri cousins, no matter that they were unique, as they did have the chapters dragging along when I wanted to move on and read about the main characters of the story.

What bothered me about the narrative was the presence of a lot of open ends, which left the reader rather unsatisfied. But then there were parts that were so beautifully written that they made reading the book all the more worthwhile. With that said, I wouldn’t deny that Hosseini is a brilliant writer whose magical words cause us to be engrossed in the lives of the characters that he weaves. However, this book has still not made it to my list of all-time-favorites.

While it is ultimately worth it, it has a slightly dissatisfying conclusion. That said, however, it is definitely a great read.

The Author

Procrastinator of the century. Hopeless pessimist. Aspiring workaholic. Life-form based on sappy romance novels. Secretly wishes to write novels in her house on the South of France

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