This morning, I finished reading Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed: A Novel. This is Dr. Hosseini’s third novel coming on the heels of his 2004 debut, The Kite Runner, and his 2008 novel A Thousand Splendid Suns. Like The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, Hosseini’s latest work is set in his native Afghanistan although it features plot twists that also take his readers to Greece, France, and the United States in a narrative that spans about sixty years of Afghanistan’s history.
I think that I’ve previously mentioned that one of the things that I most love about reading is the fact that books can take us on journeys. Reading a book gives a person the opportunity to travel to new places and visit different times.
This is especially true of Hosseini’s writing. I can’t travel into the past, but through Hosseini’s writing, I can experience and grow in my understanding/awareness of what happened in the past. I don’t know exactly why, but I am deeply curious about countries with complex histories such as Afghanistan. How did they get to be the way that they are? Were they always like this? If not, what were they like before? And while reading fiction might not give me perfect clarity on the subject, it can help me to understand new points of view.
Hosseini decidedly did this with And the Mountains Echoed. His narrative begins in 1952 with the innocent but strong bond between two siblings, Abdullah and Pari. Circumstances separate them, and Hosseini spend the rest of the story weaving their lives through the second half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. He weaves them through the lives of many other individuals including their stepuncle, Nabi, and a Greek plastic surgeon, Markos Varvaris.
The characters are well-written and compelling. As a reader, I wanted to know more about them. I wanted to learn about their lives and their futures. Hosseini helped me to see them, to imagine what they looked like and what they acted like. The setting was thrilling. I’ve never been to Afghanistan or Greece, but the story brought them to life for me.
The plot was fascinatingly intricate. When I say that Hosseini wove this story together, I truly mean that in an artistic sense. People’s lives criss-crossed each other in a complex fashion that might make Leo Tolstoy jealous. But the plot moved along smoothly, and I found the twists and turns easy to follow. The connections made sense, beautiful sense.
I enjoyed the story. It was well-written. The language, as is typical of Hosseini, was poetic. The characters and setting were well-developed. I would highly recommend it to anyone. I would also highly recommend The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. I’ve read A Thousand Splendid Suns twice, and I find it to be a brilliant piece of literature.
Bonus Book Recommendation: The Fault in Our Stars; I love this book. I love the Green brothers. And after you read the book, you should definitely go see the movie.
Looking for further book recommendations? Check out my Books Worth Reading board on Pinterest. If a book is on that board, I recommend it. If you have any questions about any of my recommendations or any recommendations of books that you think that I should read, feel free to drop a comment.